Frontiers in Retreat


HIAP 2015 Publication Launch

The second annual publication of HIAP - Helsinki International Artist Programme will be launched on Thursday September 15th at HIAP Project Space. The publication features a special Frontiers section.

The publication features FiR artists Sylvia Grace Borda, Carl Giffney, mirko nikolic and Tracey Warr, who also contributed a text about 'Zooetics'. Frontiers Curator Jenni Nurmenniemi reflects in her texts the unfolding of the project so far as well as the'Excavations' exhibition that took place at HIAP Gallery Augusta, 'Deep Time Séance' at Residency Unlimited, New York & Kiasma Theatre, Helsinki as well as 'Adaptations Utö' incubator in Turku Archipelago, Finland. 

You are warmly welcomed to the publication launch on Thursday 15th of September, at 4-7pm! On the same day HIAP hosts an 'Open Studios' event at HIAP Suomenlinna Studios and Project space. 


HIAP - Helsinki International Artist Programme


Frontiers artist Tuula Närhinen's Public Examination of Doctoral Thesis in Fine Arts

September 24th, 2016

VISUAL SCIENCE AND NATURAL ART: A study on the pictorial agency of natural phenomena

Tuula Närhinen’s doctoral research is built around an artistic practice that explores tracings and (photo)graphic recordings created by waves, rain and seawater. Re-adapting instruments derived from natural science, she constructs visual interfaces that enable us to move beyond the explicit and to grasp the unfurling of a world invisible to the naked eye.

Public Examination of Doctoral Thesis in Fine Arts
24.9.2016 at 13.00 in SES auditorium Kino K-13, Kanavakatu 12, 00160 Helsinki.
Examiner: professor Yrjö Haila, Chairman: professor Mika Elo



Frame Espresso discussion and book launch: Altern Ecologies

On September 9th at 5-7pm, Frame Contemporary Art Finland organises a discussion and book launch of 'Altern Ecologies' at the Museum of Nonhumanity, Tiivistämö, Helsinki. Frontiers artists Hanna Husberg and Tuula Närhinen have contributions in the book, and Terike Haapoja and Mari Keski-Korsu will participate in the panel discussion chaired by curator Jenni Nurmenniemi. The Altern Ecologies publication is co-edited by Terike Haapoja and Taru Elfving, Programme Drector of FRAME and one of the initiators of the Frontiers in Retreat project.

The first publication of Framed Conversations series, Altern Ecologies. Emergent Perspectives on the Ecological Threshold at the 55th Venice Biennale, edited by Taru Elfving and Terike Haapoja, will be launched with a discussion on Thursday 8 September 5–7pm at Suvilahden Tiivistämö (Kaasutehtaankatu 1, Helsinki). 

In the Frame Espresso discussion Terike Haapoja will be accompanied by curator Jenni Nurmenniemi (HIAP), artist Mari Keski-Korsu (Pixelache), director Erich Berger (The Finnish Bioart Society) and Paavo Järvensivu (Mustarinda). The discussion will be held in English. The new anthology sets out to map an alternative ecology of art practice and research that can be traced in the cacophonic maze that is the Venice Biennale. The state of emergency caused by the current environmental crises has drawn forth the necessity to re-evaluate the centres of gravity in our world, including the means and ends of the arts. It has become evident that the practices within contemporary art are also complicit in the current unsustainable order of things even while critically addressing it.

The Frame Espresso discussion and book launch responds to this call for a thorough rethinking, from the methods and modes of perception to the apparatuses and organizational structures of production. The discussion invites together artistic and curatorial practices arising from and invested in addressing the ecological threshold through their work in Finland. Altern Ecologies presents a number of approaches that artists are currently employing on the task of radical unraveling and complex reimagining of subjectivity and otherness, relationality and representation, codependence and communication in response to the ecological urgencies.

Growing out of the conversations following the symposium A Counter Order of Things, organised in connection to the exhibition Falling Trees in the Nordic and Finnish Pavilions in 2013, the anthology includes a selection of presentations from the symposium. A number of national pavilions from the 2013 edition of the Biennale were also invited to present their exhibitions alongside these commissioned articles.

Altern Ecologies includes contributions by Ursula Bieman, T. J. Demos, Catherine de Zegher, Taru Elfving, Anselm Franke, Simryn Gill, Terike Haapoja, Hanna Husberg, Alfredo Jaar, Harri Laakso, Antti Laitinen, Laura McLean, Tuula Närhinen, Khaled Ramadan, Henk Slager, Syrago Tsiara, and Stefanos Tsivopoulos.

The audience is invited to visit the Museum of Nonhumanity exhibition after the discussion. It is a temporary museum presenting the history of the distinction between humans and other animals. Museum of Nonhumanity is a part of History of Others, a long term project by visual artist Terike Haapoja and author Laura Gustafsson.



Frontiers artist Sylvia Grace Borda is profiling her Farm Tableaux at the UN International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Congress


Frontiers artist Sylvia Grace Borda is profiling her Farm Tableaux work developed as part of her HIAP residency at the UN International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Congress forum "Planet at the Crossroads" this September. The IUCN forum will be host to some of the world's most innovative strategic and global thinkers to discuss how to address the critical challenges and opportunities of our time, including the imperative to scale up action on biodiversity and sustainable development goals.

Sylvia’s presentation in particular will illustrate how the arts can be a catalyst for both innovation in contemporary image making and in social policy.  Sylvia is fortunate to be the only invited artist to present solely on the role of the visual arts in activating conservation action and awareness. Through her participation in IUCN, Sylvia will share outcomes of her dialogues with the Frontiers network on how international and global organisations to grass roots agencies are tackling global environmental and developmental challenges.

Read more about Sylvia’s work and the IUCN World Forum at the following sites


Carl Giffney: I really don't feel them

3 days event at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin

I really don't feel them is a 3 day event at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin. Its central work is a feature length documentary movie by the same name, shot in The Netherlands, Scotland and Finland, produced by Carl Giffney. 

The movie will be screened on the big screen once each evening at a seated viewing starting at 18.00hr. 

I really don't feel them and its related projects were made across five residencies within Frontiers In Retreat (2013 - 2018).


Artists in Residence: Janne Nabb & Maria Teeri Sept 1 – Oct 13 2016 at European center for culture and debate GRAD, Belgrade, Serbia

Cultural center Grad continues with activities regarding international artist exchange in project Frontiers in Retreat. During September and October in Belgrade and Sirogojno we will host two artist from Finland Janne Nabb & Maria Teeri.


Janne Nabb's (b. 1984) and Maria Teeri's (b. 1985) joint practice is based on observations of encounter, interaction and fusion between artists and other things, which often happen to be commodities. Nabb's and Teeri's works and projects, many of which are temporary, examine in particular the levels of artistic labour in the relationship with everyday society. The physical matter they work with is often the material surplus or in-situ material traces left by human or non-human activity. Discovering, scavenging, collecting and rediscovering, focality, experiments with objects, 'object ringing' and the observation of circulation and swarming of objects form the vicious circle of Nabb's and Teeri's current practice. Diverse modes of representation and documentation have a central role in their work. Nabb and Teeri are graduates of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki (MFA, 2011) and Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, School of Fine Art Kankaanpää (BFA, 2009). They have been working together since late 2008. Nabb and Teeri were selected as the Young Artists of the Year 2014 by Tampere Art Museum, FI. Recent duo exhibitions include Mesh at EMMA Museum of Modern Art, FI, Tuntemattomien juhlien jäänteet at Tampere Art Museum (2014), FI, Thingness at Pori Art Museum Gallery Poriginal, FI (2013), Indications of Spring at Galerie Anhava, Helsinki (2012), Schwarzwald wird immer bunter at T66 Kulturwerk, Freiburg, DE (2012) and a place for everything and everything in its place at Helsinki Art Museum Gallery Kluuvi (2011).


Museum of Nonhumanity Opens in September

A new temporary museum is to open in Helsinki in September 2016. The Museum of Nonhumanity will present the history of the distinction between humans and other animals, and the way that this imaginary boundary has been used to oppress human and nonhuman beings. 

Throughout history, declaring a group to be nonhuman or subhuman has been an effective tool for justifying slavery, oppression and genocide. Conversely, differentiating humans from other species has paved the way for the abuse of natural resources and other animals.

The museum of Nonhumanity will host an extensive lecture program in which civil-rights and animal-rights organizations, academics, artists, and activists will propose paths to a more inclusive society. The Museum of Nonhumanity stands as a monument to the call to make dehumanization history and to the start of a new, more inclusive era.

The Museum of Nonhumanity was launched by History of Others, a collaboration between the writer Laura Gustafsson and the visual artist Terike Haapoja. The first part of the History of Others project, The Museum of the History of Cattle (2013), was awarded the Kiila prize in Finland and is now touring internationally. The second work in the project, a courtroom performance called The Trial, had its premiere at the Baltic Circle Festival in 2014.

Opening: Suvilahti, Tiivistämö September 1, 2016. Open September 2–29, 2016.

Museum of Nonhumanity is co-produced by the project Frontiers in Retreat.



Mustarinda Incubator: Post-Fossil Experimentality

Mustarinda Incubator will take place in Hyrynsalmi, Finland, August 11–16, 2016

During its first years, Frontiers in Retreat has brought together artists and residencies as a Europe-wide network. Skills and knowledge on ecological issues and contemporary artistic work have been generated and circulated. Yet, on a practical and experiential level, there is still work to be done: How to organize the network and its nodes in ways that provide meaningful and inspiring responses to the global ecological crisis? What is the relationship between artistic work and ecological practices in a post-fossil fuel era, which is defined by an increasing realization of how our lives (and work) are conditioned by fossil fuels and attempts to reach beyond their massive use? The Mustarinda Incubator invited artists and residency organizers to discuss and experiment with post-fossil fuel ways of being, drawing on the remote location next to one of the rare still remaining old-growth forests south of Lapland in Finland.


Skaftfell Incubator: Tool-kit for Survivalism at the Edge of the World

The Skaftfell incubator took place on May 20–22, 2016 in Seydisfjördur, East Iceland. The incubator served as a platform for multidisciplinary dialogue, focusing on the intersections of visual art and ecological issues in the context of Iceland.

The key questions were:

WHAT are the particularities of ecosystems, environment, community, and daily life in Iceland?

HOW do artists engage with these issues and what is their contribution to this discourse?

WHAT opportunities and challenges are in store for local ecologies and how can we adjust to them?


The earth wants to be free

The second leg of Mirko Nikolić‘s Frontiers in Retreat artist project at HIAP culminates into a camp-symposium 'The earth wants to be free – On rights, autonomy and freedom of other-than-humans‘ in Kemiö island, Finland, 14–15 May, 2016.

In a two-day camp at the old copper mines in the island of Kemiönsaari in South-West Finland, the symposium will discuss dynamics of shared trans-species conversations, with emphasis on ethico-political questions that present themselves when crossing the imaginary human–nonhuman border. How do we invite nonhumans to take part in conversations initiated by humans? What kinds of rights and freedoms are asserted through these naturalcultural minglings? What are the responsibilities and accountabilities of the humans towards nonhuman persons? The participants, invited by Nikolić, will share their audiovisual performances.