Pori Biennale 2020: Not to Sing Like a City Bird Sings

Anna Jensen (Curator), Eliisa Suvanto (Curator)

    Research output: Artistic and non-textual formExhibitionArt in coproductionpeer-review


    The fourth Pori Biennale, Not to Sing Like a City Bird Sings, was supposed to open for public in June 2020. The focus of the biennale was to open up the archive of art works, acts and interventions realised in Reposaari over the course of years by master students of Aalto University. Similar to other projects initiated by Porin kulttuurisäätö collective, the core was to highlight research based practices and site-specific art, this time in a ‘nationally important built cultural environment’, as the small city in western Finland in considered. The main biennale location was set to be an old environmental research center, once operated by the University of Turku and where many of the Aalto courses took place.

    Like for many others the ongoing global covid-19 crisis forced us not only to re-evaluate these plans but also to react. The challenge, however, is not completely new, but something the art world inevitably needs to respond in the era of climate crisis: How to practice, produce and exhibit art in sustainable ways, rely less on travelling and materiality? How to operate at the crossroad of the global and the local – especially when isolated at home?

    Since the beginning Porin kulttuurisäätö has based its methods and activities on flexibility and critical re-evaluation of exhibition practices.The first ever Pori Biennale in 2014 approached the question of a biennial as a concept and as a collective, total artwork. Now we are able to return this specific question: what can a biennale embody and represent? What kind of forms can it take and what can we learn from it? When operating as an artist-run freelance initiative it’s also crucial to think how artists and other actors involved can be supported. How to realise a site-specific project collectively and as a group without a physical place or presence? Again, these questions resonate with another project of ours, Pori World Expo (2015), where all of the artworks were experienced through a phone conversation between the artist and the visitor. in this exhibition the place and the location will be experienced through the artworks, texts, images, films, documentation and reflections.

    Not to Sing Like a City Bird Sings curated by Anna Jensen and Eliisa Suvanto collects works realised by the students of Aalto University’s Visual Culture (and what later became ViCCA) MA program in 2011–2019. The aim of the exhibition is to study what kind of practices and approaches emerge when activity is taken away from the city centers and metropolitan areas. Themes, that were already visible in Sandstrom (2019) exhibition that took place in the Yyteri dunes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationPori
    PublisherPorin Kulttuurisäätö
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020
    MoE publication typeF2 Public partial realisation of a work of art
    EventPori Biennale: Not to Sing Like a City Bird Sings - Online, Pori, Finland
    Duration: 3 Jul 202017 Jul 2020

    Field of art

    • Contemporary art


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