Mike Egan on Mobius

Mike Egan hosting a discussion class at SIC, Helsinki in October 2016. Photo: Markus Åström. 

The Mobius Fellowship is a brilliant thing. I constantly need to see art outside of New York. It is absolutely necessary for me to explore. But the art business often leads down a single commercial track, and as things become busier and faster, it becomes harder and more cost prohibitive to truly find my way to something fresh. – Mike Egan, Ramiken Crucible

The Finnish Cultural Institute in New York launched MOBIUS, a transatlantic Fellowship Program aimed at Visual Arts, Museum and Arts Professionals in collaboration with the Finnish Institute in London in the beginning of 2014. Since its initiation, Mobius has enabled customized working periods in New York City, United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and Finland for more than 35 professionals. Significantly, its network of partner organizations features over 40 organizations and institutions in the four aforementioned countries.

Mobius Fellowship Program’s most recent New York-based fellow, gallerist Mike Egan of Ramiken Crucible, returned from his work and research period in Finland in early November. In Helsinki and Turku, Egan familiarized himself with the local gallery and non-profit system and visited local artist studios. Furthermore he discussed the current state of art practices and production from artist’s and gallerist’s point of views, and opened up the gallery scene in New York City through two discursive events organized in collaboration with Helsinki-based art organizations Sinne, Frame Contemporary Art Finland and SIC. Mike Egan’s partner organization in Helsinki is Sinne. 

Iiu Susiraja, Workout, 2010. Courtesy the artist and Ramiken Crucible, New York. 

As part of their Mobius fellowships enabled by FCINY, fellows will realize a project. Alongside exploring new artistic practices in Finland, Egan also continued his collaboration with artist Iiu Susiraja. Egan’s Mobius project will be Iiu Susiraja’s first US solo exhibition, which opens at Ramiken Crucible on November 13, 2016. The exhibition is supported by the Mobius Fellowship Program.

When I found the work of Iiu Susiraja, I immediately knew I wanted to show her work in New York, and I knew that I had to meet her. I flew to Helsinki this past summer, travelled by train to Turku, and began a dialogue with her. The Mobius program allowed me to do some wonderful things. The fellowship provided a chance for me to develop my relationship with Iiu and plan our exhibition in New York in depth.

The fellowship gave me the chance to visit more artists in Finland, as well as other gallery curators (SIC, Sinne), a creative ecology think tank (Mustarinda), and many exhibitions. The work of several artists I met with has stayed with me after my visits; these are the types of experiences I draw from when planning exhibitions at my gallery and elsewhere. – Mike Egan, Ramiken Crucible

Mobius Fellowship Program’s partners in the collaborations between New York and Finland include: Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Artists Space; Columbia GSAPP; The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology; Van Alen Institute; Ramiken Crucible; Residency Unlimited; No Longer Empty; James gallery, City University of New York; Better Farm; Sinne; Design Museum Helsinki; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art; HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Program; Mustarinda.

The Fellowship Program carries results such as exhibitions, publications, research, events and other outcomes that will find their form during the process. Each fellowship is customized to meet the professional interests and needs of both the participating fellows and their partnering organizations. Mobius supports freelancers and institutional actors alike.

A publication, which will gather together the methodology, participant experiences and project portfolio of the program, will be published in Spring 2017. To learn more about the Mobius Fellowship Program, please visit the program’s online platform:

Mobius Fellowship Program is generously supported by Kone foundation, Ministry of Education of Finland and Svenska Kulturfonden (The Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland).