Looking Back: 2017
In 2017 Finnish Cultural Institute in New York continued to bring together visual arts professionals and ideas through residency and fellowship programs, exhibitions, events, and partnerships with selected organizations in New York and Finland. Highlights of the year include fashion after Fashion exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design, and publishing the MOBIUS Manual reflecting on the pilot years of our Fellowship Program, and welcoming all the artists-in-residence to the city!
RESIDENCIES: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND NETWORKING
The artist-in-residence program is the cornerstone of FCINY. Founded in 1990, the program has hosted more than 600 Finnish artists, designers and architects. The importance of the residency program for the professional development of an individual artist, and the potential impact on their career is sometimes measured in years to come. A great example of such impact was the selection of artist Santtu Mustonen as the New York City Ballet's artist of the year in 2017, which included a commission for site-specific installations that were on view at the Lincoln Center in early 2017. Santtu first came to New York through the FCINY Residency Program in 2013 and has since stayed in the city to build a career as an artist and illustrator.
In 2017, FCINY enabled working periods for 22 Finnish visual arts professionals. FCINY's independent residency programme for artists, architects and designers includes is aimed for artistic research and development, and comes with an apartment in Harlem, North Manhattan.
Alongside our own program we coordinate two collaborative residencies aimed specifically for Finnish contemporary artists, one with ISCP – International Studio & Curatorial Program, supported by The Alfred Kordelin Foundation, and Triangle Arts, supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
The residency periods at ISCP and Triangle both include a private studio space, an apartment, and a working grant. In 2017 Anna Nykyri and artist couple Pekka & Teija Isorättyä were selected for the ISCP residency's six-month residency periods. Triangle Arts hosted Simo & Tuike Alatalo, Juuso Noronkoski, Henna-Riikka Halonen, Liinu Grönlund and Antti Nyyssölä for three-month residencies.
In 2018, the institute will host twelve Finnish visual artists in its own residencies – longer residency periods, fewer artists, more impact – and will coordinate residency periods of two Finnish artists at Triangle Arts Association’s residency and at ISCP – International Studio & Curatorial Program.
PROJECTS: RETHINKING DESIGN
fashion after Fashion, an exhibition organized in collaboration with the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York, presented fashion as an expanded field of practice that is determined by concept and context, and whose practitioners work collaboratively and creatively between and across areas of design and art. The exhibition, on view at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York from April 27 to August 6, 2017, featured commissioned works by Helsinki-based ensæmble and SSAW Magazine, New York-based Eckhaus Latta, Lucy Jones and Ryohei Kawanishi, and Copenhagen-based Henrik Vibskov.
The exhibition gained an impressive media coverage both in the US and internationally, also in Finland, with features and reviews in prestigious publications and online platforms such as The New York Times Styles, W Magazine, i-D, Document Journal, Surface, Bullett, SLEEK, Office Magazine, Helsingin Sanomat and YLE Areena. The Public Program included discussion events with one of the world’s most renowned trend forecasters, Li Edelkoort in May 2017, and Vanessa Friedman, the Fashion Director and Chief Fashion Critic for the New York Times, in July 2017.
Temple of Manufacturing, an exhibition on view at Storefront for Art and Architecture from June 7 to August 5, 2017, brought to life COMPANY’s long-term project: SECRETS. Traveling to remote sites around the world to learn crafting processes unique to particular industries and places, Aamu Song & Johan Olin of COMPANY have collaborated with a variety of communities around the world to rethink the very processes and knowledge embedded in these places.
The exhibition concluded in a closing ritual choreographed by Olin and Song in collaboration with chef Toni Toivanen. The performance piece incorporated costumes that COMPANY created for the occasion, and utilized the shape and facade of Storefront's gallery space to further explore the feeling of sacredness that the duo encountered while visiting spaces of production all over the world. Finnish Cultural Institute in New York supported both the exhibition and closing ritual.
MOBIUS: CURATORIAL COLLABORATIONS
The MOBIUS Fellowship Program, launched by FCINY and the Finnish Institute in London in 2014, continued to bring together visual arts professionals on both sides of the Atlantic through thematic collaboration. In 2017 FCINY announced three new MOBIUS Fellows.
New York-based curator Aily Nash visited Helsinki twice and organized a discussion event and screening at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma with artist Jaakko Pallasvuo in August 2017. Her MOBIUS project will manifest in Helsinki during Fall 2018.
Shannon Mattern, Associate Professor of Media Studies at The New School in New York, and Dr. Jussi Parikka, Professor at the Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton), visited Helsinki in December 2017 and started to work on a curatorial project that will manifest in Helsinki in late 2018. During their stay in Helsinki, Mattern and Parikka organized a discussion event in collaboration with PUBLICS.
2017 also marked as the publishing of MOBIUS Manual, a book shedding light on the learnings from the first years of this unique mobility program. Alongside reflecting on the Program’s pilot phase (2014–2016), the MOBIUS Manual looks towards the future, too, providing tools for institutions that are interested in rethinking models for international collaboration and mobility.
Finnish Cultural Institute in New York’s staff had the pleasure of welcoming the Board of the FCINY’s Foundation in Finland for a week-long visit in New York in November 2017. The trip included visits to partner organizations and planning for the future. FCINY focuses on visual arts, design and architecture, and is a part of the network of 17 Finnish cultural and academic institutes around the world. The institutes are generously supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland.
Finnish Cultural Institute in New York wants to warmly thank all the partners, collaborators, artists-in-residency, and fellows for a fruitful and successful year of 2017. We are looking forward to bringing together inspiring ideas and people in 2018 as well! Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.