Tenth IHME takes an insect’s eye view of the planet


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“We clearly recognize the insect family of Beetles by its characteristics, perhaps mostly by its shell, and so we generally see it as a Bug. The beetles are also a family containing many still-unknown species, as well as mysterious known ones, such as the main character in the film that I will make as a part of this project.”

Henrik Håkansson, artist of IHME Project 2018

In choosing as his starting point this representative of the insect realm less than a centimetre long, Henrik Håkansson connects his work with urgent issues affecting the relationship between humankind and the environment, climate change, the diversity of species and the ecological crisis of the planet.

– Paula Toppila, IHME Festival Executive Director

The Swedish artist Henrik Håkansson (b. 1968) has been chosen to make the 2018 IHME Project. He will be putting an endangered species of beetle from Vantaa, the halavasepikkä (Hylochares cruentatus), at the focal point of the Festival. The fate of the halavasepikkä speaks of the destruction of the willow-forest thickets that flourish in wetlands in Finland. Seen from a broader perspective, the mass disappearance of insect species is also a problem on a global scale. The 2018 IHME Project, THE BEETLE, is a film that was shot in summer 2017 in Mätäoja, Vantaa, the halavasepikkä’s habitat. The film will be premiered as part of the Festival programme at Helsinki’s Korjaamo Culture Factory on 25-26.5.2018. The work will also extend outwards as far as the vicinity of the halavasepikkä’s habitat in Vantaa. Read more about the 2018 IHME Project >

Henrik Håkansson was invited to make the tenth IHME Project because he is a trailblazing artist. For more than two decades now, in his art Håkansson has presented alternatives to anthropocentric actions and worldviews, by seeing things from the viewpoint of plants and animal species. Håkansson’s works have been shown in numerous major international exhibitions, such as the Venice (1997 and 2003), Berlin (2001), São Paulo (2004) and Sharjah biennales (2007), the Yokohama Triennale (2011) and Kassel Documenta (2013). In Finland he has shown in Kiasma’s Under the Same Sky and ARS 01 exhibitions (2000 and 2001). Read more about the artist >

In the spirit of the IHME Project, the Festival’s discussion and film programme at Korjaamo will deal with topics including post-humanism which explores the boundaries between human and non-human, the separation of nature and culture, and alternative ethical practices. The organization behind the IHME Contemporary Art Festival is Pro Arte Foundation Finland. In 2015−18, the Foundation’s work is also being funded by Kone Foundation.

Further information: Executive Director Paula Toppila, paula.toppila@ihmefestival.fi, +358 (0)45 1240096

Press materials and photos: www.ihmehelsinki.fi > Medialle. Password from Communications Officer Suvi Korhonen, suvi.korhonen@ihmefestival.fi, +358 (0)45 632 6267

Each year, IHME produces a work by an international artist in public space. The experience of viewing the work is carried on in the multifaceted Festival programme, which opens up discussion and encourages independent thought. IHME is open and free to everyone who is interested in life and contemporary art.