Talks programme

Jan VerwoertJan Verwoert gave a keynote speech at the 2016 Festival. Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

The Festival experience begun with Theaster Gates’s body of works The Black Charismatic will be extended with discussions. The main themes are of cultural appropriation, the question What is art for?, and themes raised by Hannah Arendt’s thinking. As in previous years, Festival visitors will also be able to hear a presentation by a producer of public art, this year OSLO PILOT, along with talks by individual artists at the IHME Marathon.

Please, find on your right the headlines of each programme slot and click for description. Descriptions can be found also by scrolling below.

Please, read more about the speakers here >

Free admission to all events.


Friday, April 7, at 12:30-14:30, Gloria Cultural Arena, Main Hall (in Finnish, keynote in English)

Our IHME is a conversational info session. We share our experiences of The Black Charismatic and learn together about making use of contemporary art in teaching. Bristol Biennial’s Director of Engagement Rowan Lear will give a keynote speech with a title ”Artificial Joy: Arts Participation in the Age of Social Media”.

More info on the programme and how to register >

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Public Art: OSLO PILOT

Friday, April 7, at 15:00–15:45, Gloria Cultural Arena, Main Hall (in English)

OSLO PILOT is a project investigating the role of art in and for the public realm. Laying the groundwork for a future periodic art event in public space, OSLO PILOT’s programme is aimed at exploring the intersecting temporalities of the artwork, the periodic art event, and the public sphere.

To develop these areas of enquiry, curators Eva González-Sancho and Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk have identified four interconnected lines of investigation on which the project is founded: reactivation, periodicity, disappearance, and public. Each underpinned by a reflection on time, these four concepts are intended to call attention to the life cycle of the artwork in public space and to generate new considerations of temporal-specificity in a field that has otherwise privileged examinations of site. They serve as starting points for all works produced by OSLO PILOT across all of its channels, including publication, commissioned artworks, public actions, talks, presentations, seminars, and live events.

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Political Action in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt in the 21st Century

Friday, April 7, at 15:45–16:30, Gloria Cultural Arena, Main Hall (in Finnish)

Hannah Arendt is today recognized as one of the most distinguished political thinkers of the 20th century. Her theorization of imperialist colonialism, ideological racism and the crisis of human rights resonate with many of the most pressuring challenges for contemporary democratic organizing. Yet, during her life time, Arendt had the reputation of being an outspoken, at times scandalous rebel. Julian Honkasalo’s talk explores the courage and legacy of Arendt and asks: what thoughts does Arendt’s thinking provoke in her readers today?

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A Journalist’s Viewpoint: Why do we believe misinformation?

Friday, April 7, at 17:00–17:45, Gloria Cultural Arena, Main Hall (in Finnish)

The journalist Johanna Vehkoo asks why people believe misinformation.

“Journalists often imagine that people know what their profession’s ethical rules are, or know how journalists check their facts. But, of course, they don’t. If we ourselves do not make clear what is real journalism and why, nobody else will either,” Vehkoo says and goes on: “The traditional media also need a quality-improvement movement. Click-bait journalism – which, for example, makes unfulfilled promises about content in its headlines – has exactly the same economic motivation as fake news.”

More about the speaker >

IHME Marathon: Five Interviews on the Theme of Cultural Appropriation

Friday, April 7, at 18:00–20:30, Gloria Cultural Arena, Main Hall (in Finnish, Nana & Felix in English)

Kulttuurinen omiminen (cultural appropriation) was one of the new terms added to the Dictionary of Modern Finnish in 2016. This neologism has brought into Finnish discussion a previously unexplored phenomenon, the questionable use of elements of one culture by members of another culture.

Where do we draw the line between being respectful and disrespectful when elements of another culture are used in a new context? What power dynamics are involved in cultural borrowing? And when does interaction between cultures become cultural appropriation?

At the IHME Marathon four Finnish artists and one artist duo will talk about their approach to this issue. The interviewees are: Matti Aikio, Lea Kantonen, artist duo Nana & Felix, Jani Ruscica and Martta Tuomaala.

More about the Marathon speakers >

Hannah Arendt Reading Group

Saturday, April 8, at 13:00–14:00 Gloria Cultural Arena, balcony 1st floor (in Finnish, in English if needed)

This reading group examines Hannah Arendt’s conception of colonial imperialism, ideological racism and the European refugee crisis from a contemporary perspective. Together with postdoc researcher Julian Honkasalo we will read the chapter “The Decline of the Nation State and the End of The Rights of Man” from The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) and discuss in what ways Arendt’s thinking resonates with contemporary questions related to far-right politics and the global refugee crisis. No previous knowledge of Arendt’s work is necessary for participating in the group. If you are interested in joining the group, which will be a maximum of ten people, please contact Everyone is welcome to attend as an observer on a first come first served basis.

More about Julian Honkasalo >

What is Art for?

Saturday, April 8, at 14:00–16:45, Gloria Cultural Arena, Main Hall (in English)

Why is there art, what use is it, and should art be useful anyway? How can we talk both about the meaning of art and about its instrumental, and even monetary value, at the same time?

The question will be answered by a group of key figures in the artworld: the visual artist Anna Tuori; the former Director of Tate Modern and the current Director of Berlin’s Volksbühne Chris Dercon; and from the USA, curator, the founder of the Prospect New Orleans biennial, Dan Cameron; and the expert on African-American photography and Professor at New York University Deborah Willis. The discussion will be moderated by the artist and researcher Jan Kaila.

More about the speakers >

Conversation on the 2017 IHME Project: Theaster Gates and Charles Esche

Saturday April 8, at 18.30-20.00, Gloria Cultural Arena, Main Hall (in English)

Artist Theaster Gates and Charles Esche, Director of Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, discuss The Black Charismatic unfolding its initial stages as well as opening up its relationship to Gates’s previous works. How did this artwork come about, and what was the response?

More about Theaster Gates >

More about Charles Esche >