Alicja Kwade: Big Be-Hide, 2019 ©Maija Toivanen/HAM/Helsinki Biennial 2021

Last chance - Helsinki Biennial 2021

Written by Lina Aastrup

The Helsinki Biennial opened in Vallisaari Island in June 2021. With only one week to go, do not miss out on the chance to experience over 40 artists from Finland and beyond if you are in the area. Artists and artist groups like Alicia Kwade, Rirkrit Tiravanija & Antto Melasniemi as well as Birit & Katja Haarla and Outi Pieski are among the participants.

The biennial is curated by the head curators of Helsinki Art Museum, Pirkko Siitari and Taru Tappola, who state that “The ecological crisis means we are now on the cusp of enormous changes and this is defining our common future everywhere. The biennial’s subtitle, The Same Sea, refers to this situation, which concerns everyone but affects different places in different ways”.

Shown here are two works by Alicja Kwade, Big Be-Hide (2019) and Pars pro Toto (2018). Kwade consistently explores matters of “deep time” – a concept which refers to the vast time scale of geologic events in comparison to the brief life span of human beings. A common subject within Anthropocene art that reflects the state of climate crisis that we find ourselves in. 

In the words of hydrofeminist Astrida Neimanis: ”We live in a watery common, where the human infant drinks the mother, the mother ingests the reservoir, the reservoir is replenished by the storm, the storm absorbs the ocean, the ocean sustains the fish, the fish are consumed by the whale.” (Neimanis, Bodies of Water, 2017)

Helsinki Biennial 2021 closes on September 26.

Alicja Kwade: Pars pro Toto, 2018 ©Maija Toivanen/HAM/Helsinki Biennial 2021