Esplanadi Park provides an opportunity to explore the offerings of the Helsinki Biennial 2025 for free at a central location in Helsinki. Photo: Helsinki Partners / Lauri Rotko

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Preparations are in full swing for the 2025 Helsinki Biennial, set to run from June 12 to September 21, 2025. This year's event will not only take place on Vallisaari Island but also expand to the iconic Esplanadi Park and the Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), offering a wider and more accessible celebration of contemporary art.

Organized by HAM, the Helsinki Biennial aims to be a thought-provoking art festival, showcasing the best of contemporary art in the picturesque, maritime setting of Helsinki.

The event's unique charm lies in its site-specific commissioned works, where art interacts with the island’s rich history and its naturally rewilded environment. The city of Helsinki and HAM aspire to elevate the biennial to one of the most recognized international art events.

"We aim to maximize the presence of art throughout Helsinki, envisioning the biennial as a citywide celebration. The enchanting Esplanadi Park joins as a new venue, providing a central, free-of-charge space for the public to engage with the biennial's offerings. For 2025, we are focusing not only on the art but also on enhancing visitor experience," said Arja Miller, Director of HAM.

Innovative Curatorial Vision

The 2025 Helsinki Biennial will be curated by Blanca de la Torre from Spain and Kati Kivinen, Exhibition Manager at HAM. De la Torre is a curator, art historian, and researcher, known for integrating visual art with political ecology, ecofeminism, and sustainable creative practices. Kivinen, an art historian and curator, explores contemporary art's approaches in relation to various cultural processes, societal, and ecological issues.

Diverse Global Participation

The curators have selected over 30 artists and artist groups from around the world, with a significant representation from South America and Northern Europe. Approximately half of these artists will present new commissions. The curators aim to shift the focus from human-centered perspectives to non-human actors, fostering a broader understanding and interaction with the natural world.

"In the midst of the ongoing climate and environmental crisis, there is a need for thinking that transcends human-centric views. To reimagine the relationship between humanity and nature, we must explore more-than-human perspectives. Art has the power not only to generate new agencies but also to create new realities. The third Helsinki Biennial seeks to inspire positive action," Kivinen explained.

Commitment to Sustainability

Sustainability and ecological resilience are core values of the Helsinki Biennial. Environmental considerations have been integral from the outset, influencing artist selections and the biennial’s overall planning. The biennial aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice with a robust sustainability plan, striving not just to propose alternative realities but to actively produce them.

Blanca de la Torre will spend much of the summer in Finland, engaging with the local art scene and overseeing preparations. Many artists will also visit Vallisaari during the summer. As HAM finalizes contracts and production details, artist names will be announced starting in the fall of 2024. Efforts to update the visitor experience and public engagement strategies are also well underway.

The 2025 Helsinki Biennial promises an expansive and enriching art experience, blending contemporary creativity with Helsinki’s natural and urban landscapes, and reaffirming the city's commitment to sustainability and cultural excellence.

HT

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