Looking back: 2016
FCINY’S program of 2016 featured international, cross-generational practitioners working within and across the disciplines of contemporary art, design and architecture.
EXHIBITIONS IN NEW YORK AND HELSINKI
In 2016 FCINY focused on addressing the tensions and conflicts of human mind. The curated program consisted of two psychologically charged exhibitions The Pleasure Principle and The Limits of Control and an accompanying publication that featured the works of the exhibiting artists and furthermore explored the thematics through analytical articles.
The group exhibition The Pleasure Principle re-evaluated the concepts of pleasant and unpleasant. The exhibition was on view at Sinne, Helsinki from June 3 to July 31, 2016. Revisiting Sigmund Freud’s famous concept of pleasure principle, the exhibition featured a video installation by New York-based Camille Henrot, a rya rug designed in 1934 by the founder of Marimekko textile company Armi Ratia, a selection of photographic works from American photographer John Divola’s Vandalism series from 1973-75, and Helsinki-based Maija Luutonen’s commissioned paintings on the gallery’s front doors and grand window. The Pleasure Principle was curated by FCINY's Project Manager Ilari Laamanen.
The second group exhibition The Limits of Control focused on analyzing social identity with specific interest in control, repetition and artistic gestures. The exhibition was on view at the Station Independent Projects on New York’s Lower East Side from August 13 to September 4, 2016. Like The Pleasure Principle, The Limits of Control was also a cross-generational exhibition that brought together works spanning from early 1970s to today. The exhibition, featuring works from artists Tyler Adams, Estelle Hanania, Nicolai Howalt, Jouko Lehtola, Takeshi Murata, Iiu Susiraja and Kohei Yoshiyuki was reviewed in The New Yorker and Artforum. The Limits of Control was curated by FCINY's Project Manager Ilari Laamanen.
The publication Beyond the Pleasure Principle brought together the featured artists of FCINY's 2016 exhibitions The Pleasure Principle and The Limits of Control. The aim of the publication was to further analyze the exhibitions' thematics through three key themes: ritual, retrograde and repetition. Alongside highlighting the artworks, the publication featured written work by Mark Johnstone, Reba Maybury and Aaron Schuster. The publication was edited by Ilari Laamanen and designed by Johanna Lundberg.
The Pleasure Principle and Beyond the Pleasure were supported by The Ministry of Culture and Education Finland. The Limits of Control was supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland, Frame Contemporary Art Finland and Genelec.
MOBIUS PROJECTS AND COLLABORATIONS
In 2016, FCINY continued to bring together independent and institutional visual arts professionals, and respective organizations in New York City and Finland through the MOBIUS fellowship program. MOBIUS, founded and managed in collaboration with the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and the Finnish Institute in London, enables customized international working periods, new modes of collaboration and joint projects for curators and other visual arts professionals in New York, United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and Finland. The program is generously supported by the Kone Foundation, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland and Svenska Kulturfonden (The Swedish Foundation in Finland).
Six MOBIUS projects instigated by the FCINY manifested in 2016: three in New York City and three in Helsinki.
Curator Andrea Lipps of Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum invited two Finnish designers featured in the Beauty — Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, Tuomas Markunpoika and Kustaa Saksi, to discuss their explorations of design, memory, and making at Cooper Hewitt, New York in March 2016. Lipps and Cooper Hewitt’s MOBIUS partner in Helsinki is Design Museum Helsinki.
Design Museum Helsinki’s curator Suvi Saloniemi hosted an intimate evening salon as part of Helsinki Design Week in August to discuss the topic of Design Art with the invited professionals Gallerist Maria Foerlev, Etage Projects (DK), Designer Kristoffer Sundin (SE), and Designer Tuomas Markunpoika (NL/FI), all working with studio-produced design and craft.
Helsinki-based architect Meri Louekari spent her MOBIUS fellowship in New York City during Spring 2016 hosted by the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. The focus of Louekari’s fellowship was waterfront development: an equally topical issue both in New York and Helsinki. Louekari’s MOBIUS project- Waterfront Discussions – manifested in two parts. The first session at Columbia University in New York in May 2016 brought together Andrea Kahn (Design Content), Mary Kimball (City of New York), Thaddeus Pawlowski and Louekari. The second part of Louekari’s project took place in Helsinki in August when Mary Kimball gave a public lecture as part of Helsinki Design Week.
Sinne’s curator Markus Åström organized Mirage, a three and half month long site-sensitive exhibition at the Viherpaja Garden Center in Vantaa, right outside Helsinki. The exhibition brought together commissioned works by New York-based artists Juan Betancurth and Daniel Neumann and Finnish artist Tanja Koponen. Åström spent two months in New York at the end of 2014 working in collaboration with non-profit organization No Longer Empty, which focuses on activating empty buildings in New York through site-responsive art exhibitions and public program.
Curator, artist and Managing Member of Ramiken Crucible, Mike Egan, visited Helsinki in October 2016 in order to learn more about the Finnish art scene through site and studio visits. Egan’s and Ramiken Crucible’s MOBIUS partner in Helsinki is Sinne. Furthermore Egan gave a lecture at the Frame Contemporary Art Finland and a class at SIC Helsinki. Egan’s MOBIUS project was Finnish artist Iiu Susiraja’s first US solo exhibition, on view at Ramiken Crucible from November 13 to December 18, 2016.
MOBIUS Fellowship Program provides unseen possibilities for trans-Atlantic collaboration for Finnish and New York-based visual arts professionals and organizations.
FCINY'S BACKBONE: THE RESIDENCIES
The artist-in-residence program is the cornerstone of FCINY. Founded over 25 years ago, the program has hosted more than 600 Finnish artists, designers and architects. In 2016, FCINY enabled working periods for 23 Finnish visual arts professionals. The two residency apartments, previously in Williamsburg, are currently located in Harlem, North Manhattan. Residency periods are one or two months long.
Alongside these residencies, FCINY furthermore coordinates two collaborative residencies aimed specifically for Finnish contemporary artists.
The residency periods at ISCP – International Studio & Curatorial Program in east Williamsburg are six months long, including a private studio space at ISCP, apartment, and working stipend. The residency period is supported by Alfred Kordelin Foundation. In 2016 two Finnish artists – Marja Kanervo and Eeva-Riitta Eerola – stayed at ISCP residency.
The residency periods at Triangle Arts Association are three months long, including a private studio space at Triangle’s premises in Dumbo, Brooklyn, apartment and working stipend. The residency period is supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. In 2016 five Finnish artists – Elina Vainio, Riikka Kuoppala, Maija Timonen, Simo & Tuike Alatalo – stayed at Triangle Arts Association’s residency.
In 2017, FCINY will host twenty-two Finnish artists in its own residencies, and will coordinate the residency period of four Finnish artists at Triangle Arts Association’s residency and three Finnish artists’ residency period at ISCP – International Studio & Curatorial Program.