Topical just now: debates on the IHME Days


The IHME Days debates will take up emerging topics on the art scene. A debate can involve pointed exchanges of views or thinking things through together. At Helsinki’s Old Student House, the public are also invited to share their own thoughts.

IHME has asked two art experts to select a topic of importance to them and to invite the guest speakers. Saturday’s debate is designed by the culture scribe, journalist Aleksis Salusjärvi and Sunday’s discussion will be lead by prize-winning critic and writer Leena Kuumola, also a former gallerist known for reshaping the Helsinki gallery scene.

Vandalism fit for a museum

In January Finnish graffiti artist Hende Nieminen‘s graffiti caused a controversy that lead first to censorship by the City of Vantaa and ultimately to Nieminen’s work being taken into the collection of Vantaa Art Museum. His piece Hävetkää! (Shame on you!) painted together with his friend criticized prominent figures involved in junior sports activities who were suspected of malpractice. The City had the picture painted over, and the duo had to go and re-paint it.

Graffiti – vandalism, an artform or a battle over who controls and who has access to public space? Join Aleksis Salusjärvi’s guests in the great graffiti debate! Taking part in the debate are: Hende Nieminen, who refers to himself as a graffiti worker, and Pekka Sauri, City of Helsinki Deputy Mayor for Public Works and Environmental Affairs, who would clean up illegal graffiti.

On perception


On Sunday, Leena Kuumola will discuss perception in the company of dancer, choreographer Ari Tenhula and researcher Antony Fredriksson, lecturer at the Department of Philosophy and Visual Studies at the Abå Akademi University. ”Perception is fundamental to art ,a key starting point. Developing it takes time and concentration. Is there still room for it in today’s artworld, and if not, are we missing out on something,” Kuumola asks.

IHME debates will be held in Cafe Vanha at the Old Student House on Saturday, April 2 (Aleksis Salusjärvi), and on Sunday, April 3 (Leena Kuumola), at 16:00. Both sessions will be in Finnish.