IHME Commission 2021

Katie Paterson. Photo © Giorgia Polizzi, 2015

IHME Helsinki Commission 2021 – Katie Paterson: To Burn, Forest, Fire

To Burn, Forest, Fire will consist of the scent of the first-ever forest on earth and the scent of the last forest of the age of climate crisis, made into incense and then burned across a variety of sites around the city of Helsinki in 1-30 September, 2021.


Venues and schedules of the incense ceremonies

It is a great pleasure to announce the partners and schedules of Katie Paterson’s To Burn, Forest, Fire incense ceremonies! There are ceremonies almost every day and the best two. Weather reservation for outdoor ceremonies – Kuninkaansaari, Kumpula Botanical Garden and Observatory. The duration of the incense ceremony is about an hour and the entrance if free. The venue list will be completed until the beginning of August. Follow the updates on this page. Some events have a limited number of participants, in which case participants will be included in the order of arrival at the event / meeting place. Some of the ceremonies are aimed at special target groups, this is mentioned in italics at the venue. All other ceremonies are open to all. Warm welcome!

Wed 1.9.2021 Tuomiokirkon krypta (Crypt of Helsinki Cathedral), Kirkkokatu 18, klo 14:00-15:00

Sat 4.9.2021 Temppeliaukion kirkko (Rock Church), Lutherinkatu 3, klo 18:00-19:00

Sun 5.9.2021 Kuninkaansaari (King´s island) klo 15:00-16:00, gathering point will be announced later

Mon 6.9.2021 Tuomiokirkon krypta, (Crypt of Helsinki Cathedral) Kirkkokatu 18, klo 14:00-15.00, for members of Helsinki and Uusimaa Visually Impaired Association

Tue7.9.2021 Tuomiokirkon krypta, (Crypt of Helsinki Cathedral) Kirkkokatu 18, klo 14:00-15:00

Wed 8.9.2021 Tuomiokirkon krypta, (Crypt of Helsinki Cathedral) Kirkkokatu 18, klo 14:00-15:00, for members of Finnish Deafblind Association

Sat 11.9.2021 Kulttuurikeskus Stoa, Turunlinnantie 11, Musiikkisali klo 14.00-15.00

Sun 12.9.2021 Two windows in the House of Bock (Vanha raatihuone), Aleksanterinkatu 20, klo 12-18, welcome to experience the scent of the two forests when passing by

Tue 14.9.2021 Kansallismuseo, (National Museum) Mannerheimintie 34, klo 18.00-19.00, main entrance hall

Wed 15.9.2021 Tuomiokirkon krypta (Crypt of Helsinki Cathedral), Kirkkokatu 18, klo 14.00-15.00

Thu 16.9.2021 Tuomiokirkon krypta (Crypt of Helsinki Cathedral), Kirkkokatu 18, klo 14.00-15.00

Sat 18.9.2021 Korkeasaari Zoo, Mustikkamaanpolku 12, klo 13.00-14.00, Karhulinna

Sat 18.9.2021 Kansallismuseo (National Museum), Mannerheimintie 34, klo 18.00-19.00, main entrance hall

Sun 19.9.2021 Komendantin puutarha, Suomenlinna island. Time schedule and gathering point to be announced later.

Wed 22.9.2021 Tuomiokirkon krypta (Crypt of Helsinki Cathedral), Kirkkokatu18, klo 14.00-15.00

Thu 23.9.2021 Finnish Association of the Deaf, Malmi (Kuutio-space), for members klo 17.00-18.00

Thu 23.9.2021 Tuomiokirkon krypta (Crypt of Helsinki Cathedral), Kirkkokatu 18, klo 14.00-15.00

Fri 24.9.2021 Majakka, Kuvataideakatemia (Fine Arts Academy), Sörnäisten rantatie 19, klo 16.00-17.00

Sat 25.9.2021 Kumpulan kasvitieteellinen puutarha (Kumpula Botanical Garden), Jyrängöntie 2, klo 15:00-16:00, gathering by the gate of the garden at 14.45, max 15 persons

Sat 25.9.2021 Kumpulan kasvitieteellinen puutarha (Kumpula Botanical Garden), Jyrängöntie 2, klo 17:00-18:00, gathering by the gate of the garden 16.45, max 15 persons

Sun 26.9.2021 Majakka, Kuvataideakatemia (Fine Arts Academy), Sörnäisten rantatie 19, klo 16:00-17:00

Mon 27.9.2021 Tuomiokirkon krypta (Crypt of Helsinki Cathedral), Kirkkokatu 18, klo 14:00-15:00

Tue 28.9.2021 Tuomiokirkon krypta (Crypt of Helsinki Cathedral), Kirkkokatu 18, klo 14:00-15:00

Wed 29.9.2021 Majakka, Kuvataideakatemia (Fine Arts Academy), Sörnäisten rantatie 19, klo 16:00-17:00

Thu 30.9.2021 Tuomiokirkon krypta (Crypt of Helsinki Cathedral), Kirkkokatu 18, klo 14:00-15:00

Thu 30.9.2021 Observatorio (Observatory), Kopernikuksentie 1, backyard, klo 19:00-20:00


On To Burn, Forest, Fire

The scent

of extinct forests

recreated

Those words outline the concept for Katie Paterson’s IHME Helsinki Commission 2021. All her artworks start with these little poem or haiku-like written phrases. In 2019, she published a book of these short descriptions of her ideas called A place that exists only in moonlight. Some of them have become artworks in the material world, while others await their moment of becoming.

Katie Paterson to create the IHME Helsinki commission 2021 >>

On the scientific background of the To Burn, Forest, Fire >>

Art meets geology – article on the Finnish Geological Society’s Geologi magazine on the background of the To Burn, Forest, Fire >>

Conversation documentation of the IHME commission 2021 with Katie Paterson,  Emeritus Professor of Palaeobiology Jan Zalasiewicz (University of Leicester) and Docent in Paleoclimatology J. Sakari Salonen (University of Helsinki) >>


Katie Paterson

Katie Paterson (born 1981, Scotland) is widely regarded as one of the leading artists of her generation. Collaborating with scientists and researchers across the world, Paterson’s projects consider our place on Earth in the context of geological time and change. Her artworks make use of sophisticated technologies and specialist expertise to stage intimate, poetic and philosophical engagements between people and their natural environment. Combining a Romantic sensibility with a research-based approach, conceptual rigour and coolly minimalist presentation, her work collapses the distance between the viewer and the most distant edges of time and the cosmos.

Katie Paterson has broadcast the sounds of a melting glacier live, mapped all the dead stars, compiled a slide archive of darkness from the depths of the Universe, created a light bulb to simulate the experience of moonlight, and sent a recast meteorite back into space. Eliciting feelings of humility, wonder and melancholy akin to the experience of the Romantic sublime, Paterson’s work is at once understated in gesture and yet monumental in scope.

Katie Paterson has exhibited internationally, from London to New York, Berlin to Seoul, and her works have been included in major exhibitions including at: the Hayward Gallery and Tate Britain, London; Kunsthalle Wien; MCA Sydney; Guggenheim Museum, New York; and The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. She was winner of the Visual Arts category of the 2014 South Bank Awards, and is an Honorary Fellow of Edinburgh University.


Artworks by Katie Paterson

Future Library 2014-2114 

A forest has been planted in Norway, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in 100 years’ time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unread and unpublished, until the year 2114. The manuscripts will be presented in a specially designed room in Oslo’s new public library. Writers to date include Margaret Atwood (2014), David Mitchell (2015), Sjón (2016), Elif Shafak (2017), Han Kang (2018), Karl-Ove Knausgård (2019) and Ocean Vong (2020).

Hollow, 2016 

A compendium of the world’s forests. This immersive piece of architecture, created with Zeller & Moye, brings together over 10,000 unique tree species, including petrified wood from the earliest forests that emerged over 390 million years ago, a sample from the oldest tree in the world, and some from the youngest and near-extinct species. The Douglas Fir posts that form the façade mimic the varying heights of trees in a forest canopy system. Inside, light filters through apertures in the ceiling, suggesting sunlight radiating through a forest.

Fossil Necklace, 2013 

A necklace comprising 170 fossils carved into spherical beads. It is a string of worlds, with each bead representing a major event in the evolution of life through the vast expanse of geological time. From the monocellular origins of life on Earth to the shifting of the continents, from the extinctions of the Cretaceous period triggered by a falling meteorite to the first blooming of flowers, Fossil Necklace charts the development of life on our planet.

First There is a Mountain, 2019 

First There is a Mountain was a participatory artwork which invited participants to sculpt beaches into mountains of sand to form micro-geologies, using a series of ‘buckets and spades’ made in the form of world mountains: Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Shasta (N. America), Mount Fuji (Asia), Stromboli (Europe) and Uluru (Oceania). The artwork toured 25 UK venues over British Summer Time 2019.

Further information: http://katiepaterson.org


Why Katie Paterson?

“I don’t find my work itself scientific: it deals with phenomena and matter, space-time, colour and light, the natural world in materials. It is rooted in sensory experience.” Katie Paterson

IHME Helsinki is deeply concerned about the environmental crisis and dedicates its work to exploring what the transformation towards sustainable artistic and art-institutional practice could be like. How can IHME Helsinki exist as a high-quality, contemporary-art-commissioning agency, and how are we to collaborate internationally and create relevant discourse and meaning in the age of climate crisis and biodiversity loss?

IHME Helsinki supports art, science, and climate-change mitigation. Our main collaborators are contemporary artists who work in dialogue with scientists, researchers and other experts in various knowledge systems to reflect on the focal questions of the artist’s research. Throughout her artistic career Katie Paterson has worked with scientists – e.g. astronomers, astrophysicists, nanotechnologists, geologists and botanists – in order to learn and to be able to materialize her imaginary ideas.

“Katie Paterson’s work is a stunning example of the power of imagination, how the impossible becomes possible and takes its place in the real world. Her approach mediates the transformative power of art extremely well. We need this approach in the midst of the environmental crisis,” says Paula Toppila, Executive Director and curator of IHME Helsinki.

Katie Paterson was selected by IHME’s previous expert team: Museum Director Emerita Tuula Arkio; Professor  Ute Meta Bauer; Dean Hanna Johansson; Museum Director Leevi Haapala; critic and curator Timo Valjakka; and Executive Director of IHME Helsinki Paula Toppila.


Previous IHME Artists and Projects

2008: Films and video works: Anri SalaJeremy DellerLauri Astala & Elina and Hanna BrotherusRuna IslamChristian MarclayDeimantas NarkevičiusFrancis AlÿsMatthew Barney

2009: Antony GormleyClay and the Collective Body

2010: Susan PhilipszWhen Day Closes

2011: SuperflexModern Times Forever (Stora Enso Building, Helsinki)

2012: Christian BoltanskiThe Heart Archive

2013: Miroslaw BalkaSignals

2014: Yael BartanaTrue Finn

2015: Jeremy DellerDo Touch

2016: Kateřina ŠedáTram Buskers’ Tour

2017: Theaster Gates & The Black Monks of MississippiThe Black Charismatic

2018: Henrik HåkanssonTHE BEETLE

The ten years of IHME Projects have been collected in a book: Art in Public x 10 – IHME 2009 – 2018 available from web book stores.

Find out more about the history and commissions of IHME.

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