IHME Days begin with a court hearing on the political nature of art



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On Friday at the Old Student House in Helsinki the political nature of art will be put under scrutiny at
the fourth annual session of The Trial.

Although contemporary art rarely aims to create traditional aesthetic values, the artworld still seems
to be divided into “aesthetes” and “politicians”. Do art movements also have their own politics? Is
topical, committed art no more than empty finger-pointing? Or is apolitical art actually the most
political of all – the purest form of refusal to submit? Is politics an extra on top of the art, or is all art
political in one way or another? How are the politics of art and art policy related?

Pondering these questions will be two visual artists: Silja Rantanen for the prosecution; and Teemu
Mäki the counsel for the defence. The prosecution witness will be translator and lawyer Katri
Kaarniala, and the witness for the defence dancer and choreographer Sanna Kekäläinen. Prosecutor
Rantanen promises a hot “aesthetic debate”. The judge and chairman of the proceedings will be
Tuomas Nevanlinna.

Great Hall, Old Student House, Helsinki, April 12 at 17:30-19:30.
The IHME Days start on Thursday, April 11, with a showing of Jeremy Deller and Mike
Figgis’ The Battle of Orgreave at Kino Engel cinema. The Days continue at the Old Student
House on Friday with The Trial and debates arranged by the Mustekala online magazine.
On Saturday, scheduled discussions include an interview with the artist of the IHME
Project, Miroslaw Balka, and on Sunday an international discussion about art’s power of

Further information:
IHME Contemporary Art Festival, Executive Director Paula Toppila, tel: +358 (0)45 124 0096,

IHME Contemporary Art Festival / Pro Arte Art Foundation Finland

Pro Arte Art Foundation Finland seeks to promote art as a resource for democratic society, and as an
important part of human life and everyday existence. The Foundation’s aim is to enhance the status
and visibility of visual art, to improve the relationship between visual art and the public, and to make
it more accessible. The Foundation’s work is international in scope and directed at anyone interested
in culture. The Foundation produces the annual IHME Contemporary Art Festival, consisting of a
commissioned work of art in a public space, as well as lectures, discussions, and art-education