Rauma Biennale Balticum 2014 Crime Scene

Rauma Biennale Balticum 2014 Rikospaikka – Crime Scene

Rauma Art Museum 14 June–14 September 2014

Opening in June at the Rauma Art Museum, Rauma Biennale Balticum 2014 will once again present an overview of topical contemporary art from the Baltic Sea region. Entitled Rikospaikka – Crime Scene, the biennial exhibition presents phenomena of crime, violence and power, and activism and anarchy as means of realizing and implementing art. This exhibition explores the contradictions of society and the life of the individual and turns the gaze towards the boundaries and limitations of organized society regulating human activity. The artists take up the drawbacks of our society, traumas and marginal phenomena or the abuse of the environment. They also address creative processes and other tools with which art can promote change in society. How can the boundaries of dissent and the law be re-interpreted? What is ultimately crime?

The Rauma Biennale Balticum has a long history. The Rauma Art Museum has consistently staged held this series of exhibitions since 1977, when the first Biennale of Gulf of Bothnia was held. In 1985, the Biennial was expanded to cover the whole Baltic Sea region and since 1990 it has been curated according to current themes. By now the series of exhibitions and its publications provide a perspective of several decades on cultural and social change and developments in contemporary art in the Baltic Sea region. Over the years, the themes of the exhibitions have particularly emphasized ecological and environmental concerns and the issues of human life at the levels of the individual and the community.

A part of this year’s exhibition at the Rauma Art Museum is a laboratory workshop of contemporary art belonging to a series of three workshops organized by the Migrating Art Academies (MigAA) community. Nothing similar has previously been arranged in Finland. The other laboratories of the series will be held in Reykjavik, Iceland and Kaunas, Lithuania. In these laboratories of science and art, the Crime Scene theme of the Rauma Biennale Balticum will be explored in relation to activism and the practices of participation in communal contemporary art and new models of action will be considered. Each laboratory will last a week, containing lectures for the public and a multidisciplinary and critical approach to the theme through the experimental and innovation of perspective of MigAA. The laboratory will be held during the first week of the Rauma Biennale Balticum. In connection with this event, the UG exhibition facilities for experimental art in the vaulted basement of the art museum will be taken into use.

The exhibition will feature the following artists: Aram Bartholl (DE), Coolturistes (LT), Inga Erdmane (LV), Evgenia Golant (RU), Group Helm (EE), Geir Tore Holm & Søssa Jørgensen (NO), Stine Marie Jacobsen (DK), JP Kaljonen (FI), Karel Koplimets (EE), Haidi Motola (FI), Dorota Nieznalska (PL), Nug & Pike (SE), Pouk Theater (FI/FR), Lauri Rotko & Jukka Rapo (FI), Telekommunisten (DE)

The Rauma Biennale Balticum is part of the Ars Baltica cultural network of the Baltic Sea region. The official patron of the exhibition is Mr Paavo Arhinmäki, Member of the Finnish Parliament. The exhibition will be compiled by a working of curator Laura Kokkonen, museum director Janne Koski and curator Henna Paunu. In addition to the curatorial team, the social-psychologist and visual artist Gerardo Montes de Oca (Mexico/Austria) will serve as the project coordinator of the Crime Scene laboratory of the international Migrating Art Academies series of events. The visual and webpage design of the exhibition is by Kasino Creative Studio.

Migrating Art Academies Laboratory: Crime Scene

Rauma, Finland. 12th – 18th of June, 2014

This collaborative laboratory expands on the themes of the Rauma Biennale Balticum through different theoretical and practical processes that propose the bringing together of social activism and civil participation as contemporary art practices. Through a series of experimental lectures (anti-lectures, lecture-performances), expeditions and field work, we will research concepts and aesthetic processes that can imagine and inseminate social change through art. Participants reflect upon and propose modalities of social agency and dissent under current cultural and cognitive frames of capitalism and violence. We ask: What is a crime scene? What is it to bear witness? What is responsibility? What forms of social agency and solidarity can emerge at sites of alterity? Concepts of political subjectivation, vulnerability and place, among others, are addressed.

UG (Underground) is an open space and a counterpart of the Rauma Art Museum and Rauma Biennale Balticum aiming to host both emergent artists and curators seeking to develop situated and interdisciplinary projects of social and artistic relevance. It is also conceptualized to have experimental and interdisciplinary events such as laboratories, workshops, exhibitions, public talks, or any kind of activity that contributes to generating and disseminating free and new knowledge. This space welcomes challenging proposals of artistic and curatorial projects in any medium with special emphasis on research-oriented, site production practices and pedagogical outcomes. UG is also the host of the MigAA laboratory that will be launched for the first time this year in 2014. This collaborative laboratory plays as a counterpart to the Rauma Biennale Balticum. As an event, it expands on the themes of the Biennale through different theoretical and practical processes such as a series of experimental lectures (anti-lectures, lecture-performances), expeditions and field work. UG is open to collaborate in partnership with other organizations and institutions of any kind (museums, universities, NGOs, artistic groups or collectives, etc.) seeking to develop artistic and curatorial research, events, exhibitions or exchange.

This laboratory is organized by Rauma Art Museum (http://www.raumantaidemuseo.fi) and Rauma Biennale Balticum in collaboration with Institutio Media, and it is supported by the Nordic Culture Point and the City of Rauma. We appreciate and thank the support given by City of Rauma for our field trips to the Bothnian Sea National Park (http://www.selkameri.fi/home-en).

Crime Scene Laboratory is led by Gerardo Montes de Oca (Rauma Art Museum), a psychologist and cross-media artist currently based in Finland and Vienna, Austria.

Laboratory team:

Carolina Trigo (Artist and PhD candidate, European Graduate School) Tutor.
Gerardo Montes de Oca (Psychologist and artist, MA in Visual Culture) Project coordinator and lecturer.
Niilo Rinne (Master of Arts, Aalto University) Photographer and Assistant.
Titus Verhe (MA in Art History) Photographer.

For more information, please contact:
Museum Director Janne Koski, janne.koski@raumantaidemuseo.fi, Tel. +358 440 224154
Curator Henna Paunu, henna.paunu@raumantaidemuseo.fi, Tel. +358 440 224155
Project coordinator Gerardo Montes de Oca, gmov@raumantaidemuseo.fi

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