Opening in June at the Rauma Art Museum, Rauma Biennale Balticum 2014 will once again present an overview of topical contemporary art from the Baltic Sea region. Entitled Rikospaikka – Crime Scene, the biennial exhibition presents phenomena of crime, violence and power, and activism and anarchy as means of realizing and implementing art. This exhibition explores the contradictions of society and the life of the individual and turns the gaze towards the boundaries and limitations of organized society regulating human activity. The artists take up the drawbacks of our society, traumas and marginal phenomena or the abuse of the environment. They also address creative processes and other tools with which art can promote change in society. How can the boundaries of dissent and the law be re-interpreted? What is ultimately crime?
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Adults 5 €
Students & pensioners 3 €
Common ticket to Lönnström Art Museum 9,5 €
Groups (min. 15 persons) 3 € / person
Free admission for visitors under age of 18
The Rauma Biennale Balticum is part of the Ars Baltica cultural network of the Baltic Sea region. The official patron of the exhibition is Mr Paavo Arhinmäki, Member of the Finnish Parliament. The exhibition will be compiled by a working of curator Laura Kokkonen, museum director Janne Koski and curator Henna Paunu. In addition to the curatorial team, the social-psychologist and visual artist Gerardo Montes de Oca (Mexico/Austria) will serve as the project coordinator of the Crime Scene laboratory of the international Migrating Art Academies series of events. The visual identity of the exhibition is created by Kasino Creative Studio.
The exhibition is supported by: Rauma town, Ministry of Culture and Education, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Euroports Rauma, Frame, Luvia Wood, National Board of Antiquities, Nordic Culture Point, TVO.
For more information, please contact:
Museum Director Janne Koski, email@example.com, Tel. +358 440 224154
Curator Henna Paunu, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +358 440 224155
Project Coordinator Gerardo Montes de Oca, email@example.com
Migrating Art Academies Laboratory: Crime Scene
Rauma, Finland, 12th—18th of June, 2014
This collaborative laboratory expands on the themes of the Rauma Biennale Balticum through different theoretical and practical processes that propose the bringing together of social activism and civil participation as contemporary art practices. Through a series of experimental lectures (anti-lectures, lecture-performances), expeditions and field work, we will research concepts and aesthetic processes that can imagine and inseminate social change through art. Participants reflect upon and propose modalities of social agency and dissent under current cultural and cognitive frames of capitalism and violence. We ask: What is a crime scene? What is it to bear witness? What is responsibility? What forms of social agency and solidarity can emerge at sites of alterity? Concepts of political subjectivation, vulnerability and place, among others, are addressed.
UG (Underground) is an open space and a counterpart of the Rauma Art Museum and Rauma Biennale Balticum aiming to host both emergent artists and curators seeking to develop situated and interdisciplinary projects of social and artistic relevance. It is also conceptualized to have experimental and interdisciplinary events such as laboratories, workshops, exhibitions, public talks, or any kind of activity that contributes to generating and disseminating free and new knowledge. This space welcomes challenging proposals of artistic and curatorial projects in any medium with special emphasis on research-oriented, site production practices and pedagogical outcomes. UG is also the host of the MigAA laboratory that will be launched for the first time this year in 2014. This collaborative laboratory plays as a counterpart to the Rauma Biennale Balticum. As an event, it expands on the themes of the Biennale through different theoretical and practical processes such as a series of experimental lectures (anti-lectures, lecture-performances), expeditions and field work. UG is open to collaborate in partnership with other organizations and institutions of any kind (museums, universities, NGOs, artistic groups or collectives, etc.) seeking to develop artistic and curatorial research, events, exhibitions or exchange.
This laboratory is organized by Rauma Art Museum and Rauma Biennale Balticum in collaboration with Institutio Media, and it is supported by the Nordic Culture Point and the City of Rauma. We appreciate and thank the support given by City of Rauma for our field trips to the Bothnian Sea National Park (http://www.selkameri.fi/home-en).
Crime Scene Laboratory is led by Gerardo Montes de Oca (Rauma Art Museum), a psychologist and cross-media artist currently based in Finland and Vienna, Austria.
Carolina Trigo (Artist and PhD candidate, European Graduate School) Tutor.
Gerardo Montes de Oca (Psychologist and artist, MA in Visual Culture) Project coordinator and lecturer.
Niilo Rinne (Master of Arts, Aalto University) Photographer and Assistant.
Titus Verhe (MA in Art History) Photographer.
The Internet has gradually become a new environment, new nature, for people. Originally trained as an architect, Adam Bartholl makes art of the Internet, but his conceptual works are not on the Net. Instead, digitized phenomena acquire a material form in his works. Bartholl’s projects move between two worlds. Through networks of information, the physical location of information and its users have lost their significance. Bartholl gives physical form to the immaterial phenomena of the Internet that have changed our world. New information technology permits a great number of things for us. It can make life better, but man with his moral problems still remains the same.
In 2012 the social network LinkedIn.com got hacked and lost its whole user database. A few months later parts of the decrypted password list surfaced on the Internet. ”Forgot Your Password?” consists of eight bound books containing 4.7 million passwords hacked from the LinkedIn in alphabetical order. Exhibition visitors can browse the books and look for their own passwords.
Bartholl’s version of a peer-to-peer network is ”Dead Drops”, a world-wide project launched in 2010 which anyone can join. The material version of this digital network, in a physical environment, consists of USB memory sticks in public places. The USB stick are plastered or attached to walls, stairs or other public locations with only their metal ends showing. Anyone can go to the sites to upload material to the memory sticks or to download whatever files there may be on them. When installed, each stick is empty with only a small readme.txt file containing a description of this project.
Cooltūristės is an anonymous feminist artist group. Its name refers to cool, culture and tourism, and women bodybuilder (kultūristė in Lithuanian). Its works address inequality between women and men in the art world and in public space. In its first joint work National Male Awards (2005), the group demonstrated how the national art and culture prize of Lithuania had been awarded to 110 men and only 17 women between 1989 and 2005.
Cooltūristės went on to investigate the symbolic manifestations of sexualities. In its works, the group juxtaposes hard “male” symbols, such as public works of sculpture and buildings with soft “feminine” elements, such as textiles. Vilnius in Your Stocking, for example, is a poster of tourist attractions in Vilnius, such as the Church of St. Catherine, covered with pantyhose. Cooltūristės has declared that all buildings covered and hooded for repairs are works of art from now own.
Cooltūristės plans a performance for Rauma Biennale Balticum that will take place at its opening. This performance addressed public works of sculpture in Rauma and flowers. Flowers have a strong symbolic significance, with many political dimensions. Feminine flowers pay honour to masculine monuments and memorials:
Flower-vaginas that eat objects which they worship. The common sundews eat flies which they adhere to their red sticky stems. The stems look like little blood drops. One drop of blood and the smell of it lingering in the air. It gathers and grows lush until an event becomes inevitable. History ends and there is no way back. When this drop will accumulate enough weight it will fall down. Opening a crime scene.
”Hall of power” is a room installation, consisting of sound and video projections and multiple objects. Each individual has some sort of relationship with power. Power represents an individual’s or group’s ability to exercise physical strength, or political or social control over other people. Through the times there has been people who have felt irresistible desire to exercise the unlimited power over others, even over others life and death. In the society like in a gym atmosphere power games are taking place, it has been built, trained, exercised. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most powerful of all?
Liisi Eelmaa: ”I collect mistakes what I see in myself or around me. I fix the problem and then I like to replay the situation again in my own language. I select the main feeling, understanding and have a look at what it is. I like to create fictional and imaginary elements and place them into reality, creating bizarre and impossible scenes, taking the audience in purgatory feeling of being in real or fiction. As a set designer, I am always interested in the place, room and how people interact with what surrounds them.”
Minna Hint: ”I am a visual artist who uses a documentary style approach to create film works and art installations. Through my work I try to raise questions and search answers to simple, yet hard to define daily matters, such as time, work, money, love, power etc. I try out different angels and often experiment with various natural or recycled materials, possibly engaging all senses in the created space. My intention is to offer the audience either a bit twisted mirror reflection of themselves or an alternative outlook on problematic issues.”
Inga Erdmane was arrested in June 2011 on her birthday at the Latvian border. She was driving with her boyfriend from Amsterdam to Riga. A small number of cannabis flowers were found in their car, turning the couple immediately from ordinary people to criminal suspects. They risked prison terms of 5 to 12 years according to Latvian law.
Erdmane noticed that regardless of certain facts, their case was investigated in a highly conflicting way within the judicial system. In I Agree I Have Blundered (Criminal Case No. 15890013311), Erdmane considers her personal experience of being arrested. The traces of the Soviet Union can still be seen in a system of justice that seems to be absurd and is marked by problems of internal communication and inconsistencies.
In her works, Inga Erdmane explores situations in which the individual encounters society, and the private encounters the social. In the background are the artist’s studies in psychology, and her own life is often associated with the events documented in her artworks. Erdmane mostly works in photography, expanding the photographic medium into installations and artist’s books.
Evgenia Golant has painted portraits of illegal migrants from the Caucasus working in St Petersburg. When painting, Golant meets people with whom middle-class Russians do not normally communicate and her works bring forth their stories. The paintings give a face to inequality and challenge viewers to see people as equal.
Golant most paints outdoors using models. Interaction with the subject is important — portrait painting is a different process than, for example, the momentary act of photography. The depicted persons react to Golant’s paintings in highly different ways. Some have hated the artist’s expressive style, while others have been overjoyed.
For Golant herself, the most important things are discussion and the sharing of experiences. She has also carried out interventions in urban space. In 2007, she painted Georgian vendors in a market place in St Petersburg. Later, during the war between Russia and Georgia, she returned to the market place and saw that all the vendors had disappeared. She staged an exhibition of the portraits in the empty market place. On display at Rauma Biennale Baltic are paintings by the artist from 2007 and new ones painted at Rauma.
Geir Tore Holm and Søssa Jørgensen apply the means of contemporary art from photography to performance while combining their work in art with their everyday lives on Ringstad farm at Skiptvek near Oslo. Holm and Jørgensen have combined their artistic work with everyday life since the early 1990s, when they established their Balkong gallery space in their own home.
In their works, Holm and Jørgensen study how industrialized society has altered opportunities for traditional ways of life. At Rauma Biennale Balticum, they have an installation with three video pieces from over a period of fifteen years. ”Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara — The Life of Bengt Jernelöf” (2012) subtly presents cultural and ecological change in the Kiruna region of North Sweden through the life story of a third-generation miner. ”Johnny” (2001) is a portrait of a former fisherman through which the artists tell of post-war cultural colonialism in the Sámi regions of Norway. In ”Western Way” (1999) people who have moved to the countryside tell of horses, farming and the impact of American consumerist culture.
The works of Holm and Jørgensen subtly divert attention from the mainstream towards an alternative way of life. Music and choices of material are central to their works. Life at Ringstad farm combines the couple’s artistic work with issues of economy, ownership, natural resources and agriculture. The main themes of their works have been the utilization of nature, ecology, the dissemination of information and building.
Consider films of violence and horror that you have seen. Is there a scene that has remained in your mind as particularly distressing and traumatic? Stine Marie Jacobsen approached random passers-by in Berlin with this question. She then asked her interviewees if they wanted to re-enact the film scenes that they described. The result was the ”Direct Approach” project (2012–2014), a part of which is on show at Rauma in a cinema-type setting.
The participants were free to choose their roles, turning from film viewers into active participants. For them, participating in Jacobsen’s work resembles the methods of therapy. The viewer addresses the completed work from various starting points, with issues of violence emerging in this context. While violence in concrete terms does not belong to the everyday lives of the majority of people in the Nordic countries, we come across it continuously in film and other areas of the entertainment industry. ”Direct Approach” is not a violent work of art, but it makes its viewers consider the position of someone who has suffered violence and how violence, or on the other hand violent entertainment, affects the mind.
Stine Marie Jacobsen works in a multidisciplinary manner with artworks, and in curatorship and writing. Her projects explore subjectivity and narrativeness, and she often includes humour in her works. Jacobsen is interested in the formation of individual identity and how fiction and reality are interwoven.
What does it feel like to live in a foreign country in an isolated environment hundreds of kilometres from home? Thousands of East European migrant workers who left their families and came to Finland in the hope of a better income have worked in the building project of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant near Rauma. Most of them have lived in a temporary housing village near the power plant, apart from other housing in the area.
The project aimed to establish a cultural center into the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant Accommodation Village in order to increase interaction between the Olkiluoto construction site migrant workers and local residents. Owing to their lack of language skills and outlying location, the residents of the housing village are excluded from many opportunities to spend their leisure time, and despite several months spent there, the housing area with its lack of impulses offers hardly anything to do. In the middle of the project the building of the power plant was paused and the workers sent home. ”Down-low on a Nuclear Plant” portrays the process related to the project from the point of view of local cultural- as well as migrant worker participants.
Kaljonen is interested in marginal communities remaining outside society and interaction between them. During the summer of 2011, he, Johanna Raekallio and Haidi Motola set up ”Dublin2”, a live role game simulating a refugee camp in Lasipalatsi Square in Helsinki. Last autumn, he worked with a cultural festival in Bangladesh, seeking to improve interaction between the middle-class Bijoy Nogor housing area and the slum of Laldiarchor which had grown next to it.
”My new work ’Case No. 8’ is a room installation consisting of photographs, video and sculptural objects. On the one hand, Case No. 8 deals directly with the topic of crime scene, and on the other, it is a study of criminals, crime and crime scene in general. According to the statistics, most of the killings in Estonia take place on private property (e.g. private houses, apartments etc.), and the killer and the victim know each other. In almost all the cases the people involved in the crime, have been drunk and used a sharp everyday tool as a weapon. The central piece of the installation is a series of photographs taken of the windows of apartment buildings during the late hours — places where this kind of crimes might take place. The second part of the installation consists of body bags lying on the floor. The number of body bags refers to the number (according to the statistics) of people getting murdered during these ’misunderstandings’ in one quarter of year. The third part of the installation is a video edited from several videos downloaded from the Youtube, illustrating conflicts taking place during parties and drinking. The photographs and the video are only accessible if the viewer passes by the body bags.
’Case No. 8’ is the expansion of one of my latest pieces ’Suburbs of Fear’ (2012) that deals with the fears of becoming a crime victim while passing the suburb streets during the night. With this new piece I move from the streets to the indoors, inspecting the crimes taking place in these same neighbourhoods, but mostly behind closed doors — where these fears might sometimes turn out to be reality.”
Mold Poisoning: ”Nothing prepared me for it — I was extremely happy when I got into The Finnish Academy of Fine Arts; everything seemed so perfect and possible. I could never imagine the danger that was hiding there.
My work is the outcome of my traumatic experience that started in the school, in my studio where I got sick from toxins and mold. It was a process of getting sick, realizing that I’m left alone, that I can’t trust the people around me, and then a long recovery period in the desert, where I slowly found back my health and myself. An important part of that process was meeting and talking to other people who had experienced the same. I found out that the problem was huge in Finland and that the same negligence, hiding, and silencing repeated itself in many places.
Now I want to tell you the story of a sickness that doesn’t exist officially; of people who don’t get any treatment and who are left alone to struggle against a blind bureaucracy. In my work I examine the borderlines between a healthy and a sick body, the limits of science and medicine and their political and social aspects. I’m trying to make a movie that I was missing when I got sick.”
Dorota Nieznalska’s works include installations, videos, photographs and sculpture. Her art has addressed, among other things, the culture associated with the tradition of the Catholic church of Poland and stereotypes of masculinity. For several years the subject of her analysis has been the phenomenon of violence. Recently her works include projects relating to public space, also in historical context. In 2003 Nieznalska was given sentence for blasphemy for her work entitled Passion.
She worked on her ”Greater Finland” installation in the HIAP artist residence programme in Helsinki in 2011 and 2012. In ”Greater Finland”, Dorota Nieznalska studies how social, political and cultural structures influenced the visual expression of monuments of the Finnish Civil War of 1918, and the meanings with which works of art depicting these tragic events are laden.
The starting points of ”Greater Finland” are Viktor Jansson’s (1886–1958) monument erected at Tampere after the Civil War of 1918 and the Sword Oath speech given by Marshal Mannerheim at the Antrea railway station in February 1918. In Jansson’s Statue of Freedom a standing male figure defiantly raises his sword towards the sky. In Nieznalska’s installation, the same figure is on the ground on all fours. The work includes photographs related to the Civil War and a video projection presenting archive materials.
Nug (Magnus Gustafsson) became known at the Market Art Fair of Stockholm in 2008 for his ”Territorial Pissing” video. In this piece, a masked figure is spray-painting the interior of a Stockholm underground train carriage. The action appears heated but all the other people in the carriage are sitting calmly in their places. At the end of the video, the masked figure jumps head first out of a window of the carriage onto the platform and leaves the site. The video aroused a great deal of attention and, among others, Swedish Minister of Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth reacted in a markedly negative way, stating that it was not art. It was reported to the police, but the matter was dropped, because the person in the video could not be definitely identified.
Nug’s art arouses questions. Are the events of painting real, stages or completely or partly produced digitally? In this and other works by Nug, painting does not consist of text or figurative images as in ordinary graffiti. The line is spontaneous movement on the wall of a public space or gallery. Painting as a physical event and its provocative nature are a central part of the artwork. Nug’s graffiti art entails the uncompromising and unconventional nature of Buto dance.
Nug is a graduate of the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack) of Stockholm. The uncompromising concept of the ”Territorial Pissing” is found already in videos Nug made together with another swedish artist Pike (Jonas Dahlström) in 2001–2003: ”It’s so fresh I can’t take it”, ”Best Things In Life Are For Free” and ”Su Casa Mi Casa”. Pike graduated as master of fine arts at the Royal Art Academy, Stockholm.
”Northern Frequency” is a living installation in the Navetta space of Rauma Art Museum. ”Northern Frequency” is the title for the whole project of inhabiting Rauma referring to a popular notion of the north as something free and wild, straightforward and extreme.
This installation will witness the Pouk process during these two months of residence. Tracks, imprints, and marks, memories and old patterns.
”Crime Scenes I & II”: Dance performances with video and text in the courtyard of the Rauma Art Museum at the opening of the exhibition, 13 June, and for the Night Of Black Lace, 25 July.
Someone somewhere is dead at this very instant on concrete. This is a symbolic funeral. Pouk witnesses in a poetic way here what happens there. Pouk hails the ground, the ones on it, the ones who lay down without willing it, and sends a vibration to the common air.
Riikka Kosola and Marie Papon have Pouk Theater since 2011. Pouk creates in situ street dances in the shared urban environment as in the natural landscapes. Pouk lightens up specific architectural spots by making living installations in order to zoom in and zoom out the world in where we live in. For Pouk, theatre is everywhere — the game is to create a frame where to enter.
Today Riikka and Marie work together in Lieues, a studio and a shared artistic place in the heart of Lyon, as in Association Mâ, the administrative structure and producer of Pouk among a little dozen of other projects. In Rauma Pouk is welcomed by RaumArs Artist-in-Residence Programme 2014 and co-produced by the Center of Dance of the Western Finland and Association Mâ, Lyon, France. Supported in France by Lieues, Format, La Façon, TTprint.
”See the Baltic Sea” is a photographic project with the Baltic Sea in the leading role. Rapo and Rotko began to photograph for the project four years ago. They have had a distinct division of tasks, with Rapo photographing underwater and Rotko above the surface. They have photographed the Baltic Sea in the territories of all of the countries along its shores.
The Baltic Sea is a sea belonging to people. Its ecosystem has changed into its present state because of the activities of the human race over the past century. The reason for the environmental problems of the Baltic is ultimately quite simple. This shallow sea cannot withstand the strain caused to it by man. There is not enough water in the sea in relation to the loads on it. Adding to vulnerability is the fact that the sea is almost closed, with water changing slowly through the Danish Straits. Approximately 85 million people live in the catchment area of the Baltic and this equation has had the result that the sea is unwell to a high degree.
Jukka Rapo’s underwater photographs show the unwell sea in its present state: dark, murky, eutrophied and green. Rapo has not always looked for clear water and has photographed even when underwater visibility is close to zero. On the other hand, some of his pictures are like a reminder from decades ago when you could see the bottom of the sea even to a depth of ten metres.
In Lauri Rotko’s photographs, the Baltic is neither an embellished image nor a postcard, but instead real, accessible and of an everyday nature. Rotko’s pictures address the human relationship with the sea and responsibility for the Baltic. His works are not traditional nature photographs from which man and his activities have been cropped out. In these images nature is not made for man. Tourists take the place of observed wildlife and a sunset scene is replaced by a view from the deck of a car ferry.
Dmytri Kleiner, Baruch Gottlieb
“Covert action requires clandestine networks. Data hidden in public space. Seemingly random numbers spoken on the radio. What does it mean? There must be a system! How do you join the network? Can you be counted on? Are you committed? Do you have what it takes to join the network?”
Telekommunisten (Telecommunists) is a group that investigates the political and economic basis of communication technology. The Numbers Station installation of the exhibition was designed by Dmytri Kleiner and Baruch Gottlieb with Jonas Frankki, Kristoffer Ström, Diani Barreto and Leif Ryge. Kleiner is a software developer, artist and the author of The Telekommunist Manifesto (http://media.telekommunisten.net/manifesto.pdf). Gottlieb is a researcher and an artist. According to the group, the capitalist system is incompatible with free networks of information and free culture. Social inequality is inbuilt in the infrastructure of communications technology and freedom is not realized where the components of computers are made. The ideal of freedom of the early stages of the Internet has become blurred. The opposite face of community offered by social media is the gathering of the personal data of the users of these services to be applied as efficiently as possible for purposes of economic profit for the good of those who control the services. According to the group, Twitter, for example, which operates on business principles is not synonymous with freedom of expression.
With their conceptual networks of communication operating in surprising ways, the Telekommunisten are clearing a path beyond mainstream media. The group’s art projects are small, even humorous, gestures standing out against the societal limitations of the Internet and social media.
Friday 13 June 6 pm
Opening of the exhibition
The exhibition will be opened by Minna Sirnö, director of the Arts
Promotion Centre Finland
Coolturistes: Autonomous Crime Scenes
Pouk Theater: Northern Frequency, Crime Scenes I
Guided tours in English every Tuesday In July at 2 pm and in Finnish at 3 pm.
Human rights crimes in Syria and India and human-rights crimes associated with refugee status in Palestine. Refugees in Finland and Palestine. Presentation and display of photographs.
Wednesday 3 September at 5 pm in Rauma Town Library, Alfredinkatu 1.
Kirre Koivunen is a freelance journalist and photographer from Rauma. Her work in journalism focuses on reportages based on social justice, social documentary photography and video production, and human-rights activities with the means of media education and art. She works with people in the most vulnerable position, specializing in women-at-risk cases, women left on their own because of war or other reasons and who practically always have children to care for. In addition to work in Finland, Koivunen has been professionally active in Syria, Palestine, China, Japan, Venezuela and India, among other countries.
Lace week program at Rauma Art Museum
Rock, runo & rakkaus (Rock, poetry & love) festival
Wednesday 23 July 6 pm at the art museum courtyard.
Iiro Rantala, Susanna Haavisto with Esa Helasvuo, Petty Pilgrims, Tapio Koivukari.
Festival food by Restaurant Goto. At the festival area age limit 18.
Festival ticket includes free entrance to Rauma Art Museum at the Lace week.
Tickets from Vanhan Rauman Kirjakauppa and Tiketti.
The Night of Black Lace
Friday 25 July
20-21 Pouk Theatre, Northern Frequency, Crime Scenes II
21-22 The Turku Policewomen Choir
Tarmo Thorström, Independent lace
Yarn of jute lace installation at the courtyard of the Art Museum presents a view to relaxing qualities of lace.
The Rauma Biennale Balticum has a long history. The Rauma Art Museum has consistently staged held this series of exhibitions since 1977, when the first Biennale of Gulf of Bothnia was held. In 1985, the Biennial was expanded to cover the whole Baltic Sea region and since 1990 it has been curated according to current themes. By now the series of exhibitions and its publications provide a perspective of several decades on cultural and social change and developments in contemporary art in the Baltic Sea region. Over the years, the themes of the exhibitions have particularly emphasized ecological and environmental concerns and the issues of human life at the levels of the individual and the community.