Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, YOUR CHOSEN PILGRIMAGE, 2023. Courtesy the artist.


The Helsinki Biennial 2023 will take place across Vallisaari Island and the Finnish capital. The second edition, New Directions May Emerge, curated by Joasia Krysa and produced by HAM Helsinki Art Museum, comprises 29 international artists and collectives, around 50% of which are new commissions and site-specific works. The artworks address some of the most pressing issues of our time, including environmental damage, political conflict, and the impact of technology.

The artworks, displayed across mainland venues and online, encompass various forms of media such as film, sculpture, role-playing performance events, and installations, among others.

New Directions May Emerge explores new ways of living and understanding the world, while envisioning various potential futures. The central location of Vallisaari Island in the Helsinki archipelago will feature a unique outdoor exhibition of works that operate in dialogue with the surrounding environment and its unique ecosystem. The island will host Adrián Villar Rojas’ site-specific sculptural work, From the Series The End of Imagination, which features nest-shaped sculptures that expand from his ongoing series Brick Farm. The sculptures are designed using an amalgamation of software collectively described as the "Time Engine" and will be attached to trees, rocks, and buildings across the island. Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley invites visitors to take part in a role-playing performance event and installation which explores a speculative Black trans mythology of Vallisaari Island, while Emilija Škarnulytė's new film installation Hypoxia meditates on extinction, future archaeology, and deep time, examining the ocean basin from an "alien archaeological perspective" to reconstruct mythologies and beliefs of the past and present.

The biennial will also feature works across mainland venues, such as HAM Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki Central Library Oodi, Stoa and Caisa Cultural Centers, other public spaces in the city, and online, accessible via helsinkibiennial.fi. The Helsinki Biennial 2023 will open to the public on 12 June, an annual Helsinki Day celebration in the Finnish capital.

New Directions May Emerge, the Helsinki Biennial 2023, promises to be a unique exhibition that fuses art with the natural world, exploring new ways of living and understanding the world. The exhibition provides a space for artists to engage with the pressing issues of our time, reminding us of the importance of art in our society.