IHME has announced its 2017 programme. The Contemporary Art Festival is offering the public a new and surprising IHME Project. The experience of this specially commissioned work will be augmented by an extensive programme of discussions and films.
The author of the artwork, the Chicagoan artist Theaster Gates, is one of the most respected names in contemporary art. His works are now being seen for the first time in Finland. A part of the work and the Festival’s other free events will take place in various parts of downtown Helsinki.
The power of the human voice in cinemas and churches
Festival artist Theaster Gates is bringing to Helsinki The Black Monks of Mississippi, his sound ensemble who open-mindedly combine black music with eastern influences. The Black Charismatic is a set of works that takes us on a journey of exploration into the joys of improvisation and the power of the human voice.
As part of the Project IHME is screening the world premiere of a film about The Black Monks of Mississippi on Wednesday April 5 at the Finnkino Tennispalatsi cinema in Helsinki. The Black Charismatic includes also a concert by The Black Monks of Mississippi in the Rock Church on Thursday, April 6. In addition IHME will be releasing the ensemble’s first three LPs. The film premiere and concert are unique events and can be experienced only once during the Festival.
Welcome to the low light of the Tennispalatsi and to the stunning acoustics of the Rock Church! Seats for these events are limited, so we recommend that you book your free place in advance on IHME’s website, starting Monday, February 20.
The film screening and concert will be augmented by a video installation created for the Festival, which you can view in an architectural jewel hidden away in Helsinki’s Punavuori, the Finnish Salvation Army Temple, on April 6–29.
Art for health and cultural appropriation – the conversation continues
The ninth IHME Festival is this year being constructed around themes raised by the commissioned work. The new venue for the programme of talks and films is the Gloria Cultural Arena on Pieni Roobertinkatu Street in Helsinki.
As in previous years, the IHME artist is one of the Festival’s guest speakers. Theaster Gates will discuss the relationship between an art market that focuses on the production of art objects and artforms that are based on living presence, in conversation with the Director of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven Charles Esche.
Also under discussion at Gloria will be artistic freedom at a time when art for health and art for wellbeing have gained a place in talk about art. How can we talk about the meaning of art and its instrumental, even its monetary value, at the same time? Among those answering this question will be the visual artist Anna Tuori and former Director of Tate Modern and current Director of Berlin’s Volksbühne theatre Chris Dercon.
IHME will also be carrying on the discussion about cultural appropriation begun, for instance, by Laura Lindstedt’s Oneiron and Jenni Hiltunen’s Grind. This new term has brought into Finnish discourse a previously unquestioned phenomenon: the use of cultural material in a way that ascribes to minority cultures a lower status than the dominant culture. When does interaction between cultures become cultural appropriation?
Film programme themes: Japan and found materials
The films screened at the Festival mirror IHME artist Theaster Gates’s production. For the film series at Gloria film researcher and critic Olaf Möller has chosen some rarely seen gems from the different decades of film history.
The Friday of the Festival ends with a screening on the theme of Japan. Saturday’s series, on the theme of found and discarded materials, will parade a plethora of rarities across the screen. These have their beginnings in film clippings swept up off the cutting-room floor and in a yard sale held by the US intelligence agency, the CIA.