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Young arts focus on “Our Need for Consolation”

Last year, Volt – the culture and language programme for children and young people, supported a creative and innovative project by Vision Forum, in collaboration with Tomorrow’s Art Audiences in Sweden, Danseatelier in Denmark, Nordiska Konstskolan in Finland, and others.

The project titled, Our Need for Consolation was inspired by a text by the same name, written by Swedish writer and journalist Stig Dagerman. They felt the text offered important tools to address the relevant questions such as how art creates reflections and how Nordic languages shape our cultures and lives.

The process included workshops in Denmark, Sweden and Finland and focused on both private and public readings, discussions and various exercises for promoting artistic autonomy. The project also wanted to investigate methods of performance teaching in art schools and raise the general understanding and importance of artistic expression in society. The meetings brought a little over 100 young artists and academics together with experienced artists and workshop leaders to work in both institutions and public spaces. The age ranged from 16 years and upwards.

According to Vision Forum, Our Need for Consolation became an important milestone. The project has been carried out in a strictly horizontal manner, meaning that the organisers mainly created a framework for the young artists to develop further.

“Inside these boundaries there was total freedom to create their own projects. They have actively shaped the project’s content and the public presentations. The value of this responsibility has been greatly appreciated by the participants”, says project manager Rudi Heinrichsen.

The project does not stop here. They were able to connect and have serious discussions about future projects that would similarly be based on other works by other Nordic writers.

The Nordic Culture Point are pleased to have been a small part of the journey and we wish them all the best in their collaborations in the future.

Want to see more? Take a look at their gallery.

Volt is a culture and language programme. Volt support projects where children and young people get involved in projects that focus on their interest in Nordic arts, culture and language. Read more about the criteria and find the upcoming application deadline here.

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New advisor at Nordic Cultural Point

Katja Långvik started as an advisor at Nordic Culture Point in the end of February 2019. She is a sociologist, cultural secretary and art historian. She has been working with project management in the public sector and in the third sector as well as advocacy for diversity and equality. She joins us from Stiftelsen Pro Artibus where she worked as Educational Curator.

At Nordic Cultural Point Katja will be working with the Cultural and Art Programme and with Volt that is the culture and language programme for children and young people. The Culture and Art Programme supports Nordic cooperation within art and culture. Volt aims to make young people interested in each other’s arts, culture and language.

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The call is open for the first Nordic Match

From 8 to 12 April 2019, the Finnish capital Helsinki will play host to the first Nordic Match – a pop-up think tank and networking platform where art and culture will be used to create social change. The open call for participants is now open. 

During the week, a group of prominent Nordic creative professionals will come together in Helsinki to discuss the topic of migration. Alongside an intense programme of workshops and networking, the participants will be hosted by local collaborators who will guide them in their new cultural surroundings.

The current application round for Nordic Match is open until 24 February. There is a simultaneous open call for hosts in the Helsinki area.

Human to human-approach on migration

Nordic Match is a joint initiative of Nordic Culture Point and the creative agency Måndag, both based in Helsinki.

“By choosing migration as the spring theme for 2019, Nordic Match is seeking to explore and amplify the potential of art and culture in helping people feel at home and flourish in a new country regardless of their background. According to definition of the Nordic Council of Ministers, anyone with an address in a Nordic country is a Nordic citizen. Needless to say, the enrichment potential of migration is enormous for the Nordic countries,” says Ola Kellgren, director of Nordic Culture Point.

Often referred to as “the Nordic gold”, trust is one of the core values behind the Nordic Match concept, in which the participants essentially spend every waking moment networking.

“In the creative field, people are driven by passion: work is not just work. Sadly, we rarely have the opportunity to really get to know one another – when we’re familiar with one another we also trust one another and have the courage to disclose our unfinished ideas. Nordic Match is built to make this collaboration possible: to learn from one another, to get to know one another, and to work together. To build our cities and communities together with other Nordic countries. This is the reason for Nordic Match,” says Arto Sivonen, CEO and founder of Måndag.

One participant from each Nordic country will be selected to participate in the spring and autumn rounds of Nordic Match between 2019 and 2021. The “Helsinki model” of Nordic Match will be free for other Nordic cities to duplicate.

Read more about Nordic Match at www.nordicmatch.org
We are also on Facebook and LinkedIn – follow us there to join the Nordic Match community!

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Robopoetics – a new web-based exhibition looking at digital poetics

Robopoetics is a web-based exhibition that was supported by Culture and Art Programme in 2016. The project calls attention to a form of contemporary digital poetics developed out of the possibilities of computational and web-based mediums and takes place at the http:// exhibition space – http://robopoetics.com.

The exhibition presents commissioned artworks from six contemporary artists, including Annabell Lee Chin (SE), Victoria Durnak (NO), Caspar Forsberg (SE), Kirke Meng (DK), Audun Mortensen (NO) and Carl-Johan Rosén (SE).

The project initiator artist and curator Roger von Reybekiel writes that the exhibition aims to shed light on the infrastructure and ideology of contemporary information technology from media archaeological and post-digital perspectives through play, imagination and experimentation.

The project engages in theoretical discussions about the structure of contemporary information technology, technization, monopolisation, surveillance and other important, sometimes overlooked issues that we face in our everyday life.

According to von Reybekiel, the dominant global Internet companies could be said to have been handed responsibility for our shared cultural heritage. Therefore, independent, non-profit, web-based exhibitions, platforms and meeting spaces for the production, distribution and contemplation of culture are much needed. Robopoetics is one such initiative.

Visit the exhibition and read more about the project here.

Culture and Art Programme supports Nordic cooperation within art and culture. You can apply for funding for a project with artistic and/or cultural quality which promotes a multifaceted and sustainable Nordic region. The grant programme is administered by Nordic Culture Point.

Funding is being distributed twice per year. The application rounds for 2019 are:

04.02.2019 – 04.03.2019

19.08.2019 – 19.09.2019

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Towards the first nordiSKulptur exhibition: An interview with Páll Haukur and Pia Männikkö

By Annukka Vähäsöyrinki 

AV: Páll Haukur, in your artistic practice you are interested in deconstructing the concept of an object. As materials you use image, ready-made objects and natural materials, among others. What is your working method and the process from an idea to a finished art work? 

PH: All of the work I do is inseparable from an overall process in my mind. In the sense that it´s more like traveling through a landscape, each new work being a topological continuation of this stretchable plastic whole. That’s how I try to think about sculpture. The general idea is to situate oneself within, or at least aim at reaching, a place beyond the symbolic hierarchy of representation and structures of meaning. I am more interested in how sculpture exists or performs than I am in what it means. The tension between the material and the physics that constitute it is what makes the sculpture for me, how the deterministic meets the arbitrary and chaotic. I feel that things like gravity, tension or decay are as much objects within the sculpture as are its more physical and obvious parts. I think a sculpture is ready in my mind when it manages the possibility of drawing attention to those things but also, preferably, if it has the slightest possibility of self-destructing. When it manages to hold that tension, it becomes an object in the overall landscape, so to speak.

AV: Pia Männikkö, space and body are the starting points in your artistic practice. What is your working method and the process from an idea to a finished art work? 

PM: Often a new art work stems from an idea I want to realise, but sometimes also from an interesting material I’ve found. I don’t always have a projected end result in mind, but the art work rather forms throughout the process, by experimenting and testing. You don’t often get to do a test installation of spatial pieces in the exhibition venue beforehand. That is when the art work and its installation require extra careful planning. You won’t see the outcome until right at the end. That’s exciting!

AV: What can we expect to see at the nordiSKulptur exhibition at Gallery Sculptor?

PH: I think there is going to be a lot of decay and change. I´m interested in making sculptures for this show where a biological component needs to be replaced regularly – kind of like a sacrifice on an altar. I like to use living materials in combination with more rigid structures so that the whole thing is either growing or breaking down depending on where it is in the process. Time will be the main sculptural element, I think. That and some sticky golden honey.

PM: On my part the planning has only just begun. Gallery Sculptor is familiar to me as an exhibition space, but only from other artist’s exhibitions. Now I’ll have to look at it with new eyes. I would actually like to make a new piece for the exhibition. Me and Páll have also been offered a chance to work together on a new piece, but we haven’t had time to discuss matters in much detail yet. My aim is to make the exhibition as interesting as possible.

AV: What kind of dialogue is there between your works and practices? 

PH: Me and Männikkö just started a dialog. I´m very excited to work toward this show with her. I think we are both interested in the subjects of time and nature even though we are approaching them from a slightly different angle. I suspect that the show might end up having a somewhat organic feel to it…

PM: Our works are very different, which makes the combination interesting. Sharing the exhibition venue, our works will inevitably communicate with each other. As soon as we get the planning properly started, we might find unexpected connections with our practices.

AV: Páll, is this your first connection with the Finnish art scene and vice versa, Pia?

PH: I´ve been to Helsinki before and got some minuscule connections with the place but this is my first time showing there. Very excited about that.

PM: I’ve never been to Iceland, but I’m very fascinated by it. I’ve been planning to apply for a residency in there. I have encountered Icelandic artists and art works through exhibitions and publications, but personally I don’t know Icelandic artists. Except for Páll very soon!

AV: Páll, what kinds of themes and phenomena can you detect in contemporary Icelandic sculpture and where is it heading to?

PH: It´s hard to say in regard of some sort of Icelandic-ness at this point. A lot of influence and knowledge has been brought to the island in the past two decades by artists traveling and studying abroad. One of the main influences responsible for a contemporary art movement in Iceland was the Fluxus in the 70´s. When it comes to materiality and such, contemporary sculpture in Iceland is maybe more than anything influenced by the lack of certain industrial solutions and funding. It mostly relates to the body and means of the artist making it. Still, this is by no means absolute. I would say that the contemporary sculpture in Iceland is an unruly being that resists being one thing or another.

AV: Your work focuses on materials, objects and aesthetics. How does it resonate with the current themes and trends in Icelandic sculpture?

PH: It´s hard for me to say except, like the local weather, it resists being any one thing. Also, my sculpture practice is largely developed in Los Angeles where I used to live for a few years. There I wasn’t necessarily so much interested in what was going on in the local sculpture landscape, with heavy materials and all kinds of synthetics seeming to be trending. My interest was always in trying to confuse or disrupt some sort of hierarchy of meaning I felt constituted objects, physical or ephemeral, and eventually my sculptures started coming out of that process. I feel like it´s still a process that does not give any kind of account of what the thing is going to be until it´s just there.

AV: What kinds of trends and phenomena have you detected in the Finnish contemporary sculpture, Pia, and how does your practice mirror them?

PM: I haven’t noticed any one trend, if you don’t count as such the wide array of practices and technics. The materials used in contemporary sculpture can be plants, fabric or light, as well as digital tools and platforms. Also public works are executed in diverse ways. You can, for example, combine a sculpture and video projection, like Vesa-Pekka Rannikko did in his latest work published in Vantaa in November. Traditional materials are still widely used, but themes and topics come from today’s world. Sculpture reflects topical issues related to the society and environment. I believe this trend will continue.

I consider myself a ’multifunction artist’. I haven’t been able to select just one material or method. I’ve noticed, that quite many artists use other forums as well besides traditional exhibitions. I have been working as a scenographer at a dance theatre group, for example.

AV: NordiSKulptur 2019 is a collaboration between sculptors’ associations in Finland and Iceland. As members of these associations, how do you see the role of artist associations in 2018?

PH: I think the role of artistic institutions like the sculptors’ association is still very important. I see art as material-based craft regardless of its theoretical, political and even ethical implications, and I think associations built around the accumulated knowledge and histories of the artistic subject at stake are of great value. Not to mention the social aspect. Art is in my mind very much a thing contingent on a social body, which makes it important to cultivate and pay close attention to how that body thrives and proliferates.

PM: It would be very challenging for an individual artist to produce such an exhibition project. The strength of artists’ associations is enabling these kinds of exhibition opportunities and events for their member artists. Advocacy, communications and networking are also an integral part of the functions of an artists’ association.

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Pia Männikkö and Páll Haukur selected for the first nordiSKulptur exhibition

 

Pia Männikkö from Finland and Páll Haukur from Iceland have been chosen for the first nordiSKulptur exhibition. Männikkö and Páll Haukur’s joint exhibition will take place at Gallery Sculptor in Helsinki in November 2019 as the first of three nordiSKulptur exhibitions. NordiSKulptur is a collaboration between The Nordic Culture Point and The Association of Finnish Sculptors. The exhibitions will be executed with changing Nordic partners, starting with The Icelandic Sculptor’s Association in 2019.

Body, space and their interaction is the point of departure in Männikkö’s art. Männikkö has graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2014 and before that from Glasgow School of Art in 2010. Her latest solo shows have taken place at Galleria Muu Kaapeli, Galleria Uusi Kipinä and Galleria Lapinlahti in Finland. Additionally, Männikkö’s works have been exhibited in several international group shows, and her works have been acquired for various collections, including Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the Collection of Finnish State Art Commission.

In his art, Páll Haukur examines and deconstructs the concept of an object. He uses a variety of mediums and materials, such as still and moving image, natural materials and ready-made objects. He has graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 2013 and Icelandic University of the Arts in 2008. His works have been seen recently at solo shows at gallery Kling og Bang and Reykjavík Art Museum as well as at group show at Reykjavik Arts Festival. In addition to his artistic work, Páll Haukur also holds the position of Adjunct Professor at the Icelandic University of the Arts.

The artists were selected through an open call aimed at the members of the Finnish and Icelandic Sculptor’s Associations. The selections were carried out by a jury which consisted of Sampo Malin and Simo Ripatti, member artists of the Finnish Sculptor’s Association, and Annukka Vähäsöyrinki, visual art consultant of The Nordic Culture Point.

Member of the Association of Finnish Sculptors, Anssi Pulkkinen, has been selected through an open call for the Icelandic Sculptor’s Association’s SUBURB exhibition. The exhibition will open in May 2019 and spread across the Reykjavik city area. Along with Pulkkinen, there are eight Icelandic artists participating in the exhibition, selected by curators Aðalheiður Valgeirsdóttir and Aldís Arnardóttir.

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The final round of mobility funding

The final round of the mobility grant program has now ended.

We received a total of 176 applications, the amount applied was 474 540€.

41 applications were granted funding, the total amount granted was 123 490€.

The deadlines of the coming application rounds in 2019 are now published on our website. The first round of applications will take place from January 3rd, and closing on February 4th.

The mobility funding provides applicants, who may be individuals or small groups, access to contacts, skills and knowledge from different parts of the region. Funding may also be used to present artistic and cultural productions and to increase interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture. Mobility funding is intended for the travel and/or stay of professional artists or cultural workers within Nordic and/or Baltic countries.

The application deadlines for 2019 are the following:
03.01.2019 – 04.02.2019
04.03.2019 – 04.04.2019
23.07.2019 – 22.08.2019
19.09.2019 – 21.10.2019

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Nordic Match kicks off in February

After the successful pilot it is time to actuate Nordic Match – in February 2019,  the first application round will be opened, calling creative professionals from all over the Nordics to join the renewed residence programme. Personal encounters, value-based platform and community of brilliant minds are at the core of Nordic Match, offering a unique way to strengthen the network between Nordic creatives.

The concept of Nordic Match was launched at Helsinki Design Week in September 2018. It aims to highlight important, timely themes with a focus on art and culture while establishing new and sustainable collaboration processes. In the long run, Nordic Match will serve both as a pop-up think tank and a creative community.

The first Nordic Match networking week will be held in Helsinki in April 2019. The overarching theme for the week is Migration. One participant from each Nordic country will be singled out to  participate in an intense, but rewarding week with their fellow creatives. Visits, workshops, dinners and inspiring encounters guaranteed!

Interested? Send us your contact details: nordicmatch@nordiskkulturkontakt.org and we’ll inform you when the application round opens!

Nordic Match is a collaboration between the Nordic Culture Point and creative agency Måndag.

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Network Funding for cross-disciplinary projects

How to preserve the knowledge of analog media as the digitalisation advances?  This is one of the topics the Baltic-Nordic analog lab network will focus on as a co-operation between Nordic and Baltic artists with support from the Nordic-Baltic mobility programme. The project will also promote analog media art and intends to provide education within the field.

The second application round for 2018 received in total 37 applications of which 14 applicants received network funding. The total granted amount was 217 150 euros. The granted projects include a wide range of different genre and as many as nine out of fourteen projects say that they work cross-disciplinary. Several networks transcend different genre and they aim to bring together different actors, such as curators, producers, art researchers and artists.

The chairman of the Expert Group Mogens Jacobsen concludes that forming networks has become a key aspect for development of the Nordic and Baltic cultural scene. At the same time, the expert group would like to emphasize the need for further development of new and innovative ways of networking in the future.

The Network Funding is part of the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture that aims at strengthening artistic and cultural cooperation between professional artists and other professionals within the field of culture in the Nordic region and the Baltic countries.

The next application round for the Network Funding opens on 16 January 2019. It will be possible to apply for both short-term network funding as well as long-term network funding. The short-term funding is available for networks that will work together for up to one year whereas the long-term funding is aimed at longer projects with a maximum duration of three years.

Please see the section Results for all granted applications from this and previous rounds.

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