Towards IHME 2017

Photo: Helsinki City Material Bank / Skyfoto

The IHME Festival’s expert team met after the summer break to resume planning of the 2017 Festival. The workgroup chose the artist a few years ago for the annual IHME Project, to be carried out in public space, so the plans are already far advanced. The Festival’s curator and Executive Director, Paula Toppila, runs the Project in cooperation with the invited artist.

“We work with internationally renowned artists whose calendars are booked solid several years in advance. The IHME Project provides the basis for the content of the whole Festival, so it is important for the rest of the programme planning to know what the concept is early on. Next year we will once again be presenting an international award-winning artist, whose work challenges what we have come to regard as contemporary art,” Toppila says. “We can reveal this much: it will be the first work in IHME’s history to be rooted in improvisation.”

Festival programme revised

Now that the artist’s plans are clear, the planning of the rest of the Festival programme is proceeding rapidly. Currently, the workgroup headed by Counsellor for Cultural Affairs Tuula Arkio is finalizing next spring’s programme of speakers and video screenings. Contributing to the planning, alongside Arkio and Toppila, are art historian Hanna Johansson, Kiasma’s Director Leevi Haapala and art critic Timo Valjakka.

“We are trying to find current topics that affect both those who work in the artworld and the public,” Arkio says. “Next year the format and scheduling of the Festival programme will change, and we are working intensively with that right now.”

Potential for international cooperation

“We invite internationally recognized and respected figures to give talks,” Arkio says. “We hope that, when they visit our festival, they will have time to get to know as many Finnish artists and other key individuals as possible,” the Chair of the workgroup says. The professional visitors’ programmes have been planned in collaboration with Frame Contemporary Art Finland. They are intended to forge links between international players in Finland and abroad, and hence to create further opportunities for cooperation.

The 2017 IHME Project artist and artwork, as well as other information about the new Festival programme, will be announced in October 2016.