City and urbanity
The main exhibitions of the Helsinki Photography Biennial 2012 under the theme of “city and urbanity” are organised by the Finnish Union of Artist Photographers in cooperation with the Helsinki City Museum in the Hakasalmi Villa and in the Sederholm House in March–April 2012.
Copyright © Christina Seely. Metropolis 40°47' N 73°58' W, from series: LUX, 2006–2008.
Over 30 Finnish and international photographic artists are presented in the two museums. The main exhibitions are curated by a team whose members are photographers Ari Kakkinen, Marko Karo, Harri Pälviranta, Kari Soinio and Hanna Weselius together with Jari Harju, a researcher from the Helsinki City Museum.
The works in the main exhibitions offer perspectives on the kind of urban space we construct for ourselves and the changes that are taking place in cities across the world.
However, inhabitants of cities are also in focus: how they experience the urban space, how they use it, and perhaps also mould it for their own needs. The featured artists’ subjective viewpoints on the city offer viewers very different experiences, borrowing for a moment different ways of thinking about and living in the urban environment.
In his work Urban Flow, the Hungarian-born Adam Magyar explores the motion and rhythm of the city by using a technology familiar from finish line photos in sports competitions. The Finnish artist Noomi Ljungdell constructs urban topographies in which she has reinterpreted and transposed photographs into abstract landscapes of floating words.
Current and global issues are also addressed by many artists. The Paperless by the Finnish photographer Katja Tähjä showcases immigrants living in European cities without papers. The protagonists in the works of the Romanian documentary photographer Dana Popa are women who leave their poor home country to become prostitutes in European cities.
The main exhibitions also feature moving image works, such as the video installation J. Street Project by Susan Hiller. The project searches for signs of the history of Jews in contemporary German cities. The result is not a historical document, but a work of art which transports the viewer into a landscape of forgetting and remembering.
No Exit – Urban Space: Isidro Blasco, Chad Gerth, Stephen Gill, Anthony Haughey, Susan Hiller, Simo Karisalo, Kalle Lampela, Jukka Lehtinen, Noomi Ljungdell, Adam Magyar, Peter Margonelli, David McMillan, Sohei Nishino, Jiang Pengyi, William Raban, Abigail Reynolds, Jani Ruscica, Christina Seely, Christopher Thomas
No Exit – Urban Being: Juha Allan Ekholm, Nina Berman, Tuukka Kaila, Enrique Metinides, Jukka Onnela, Sami Perttilä, Salla Pesonen, The Pier (Nils Petter Löfstedt, Erik Vestman), Dana Popa, Nicolas Provost, Roskakaupunki (Sirpa Kinnunen, Emilia Kurila, Teemu Lehmusruusu), Maija Saksman, Sanni Seppo, Katja Tähjä, Michael Wolf
In addition to the main exhibitions, HPB12 also expands in a series of events into the museums, galleries and other venues as well as public spaces in the Helsinki metropolitan area. HPB12 mobilized an unprecedented number of cultural actors in the greater Helsinki area, with more than 60 individual events having already been submitted.
For the full programme, please visit www.hpb.fi.
No Exit – Urban Space, Hakasalmi Villa 2.3.–22.4.2012
No Exit – Urban Being, Sederholm House 2.3.–29.4.2012
Open Wed–Sun 11–17, Thu 11–19