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Epilogue – Research Pavilion #4

Epilogue of a Discussion Event 26.8.2021, 6:15–7:15 PM; Research Pavilion #4 at Hietsu Pavilion, Helsinki

Salla Myllylä's "Vuodenaikahuone" at Research Pavilion #4. Installation view showing the interior space and the surroundings of the building.
Salla Myllylä’s “Vuodenaikahuone” at Research Pavilion #4. Image: Denise Ziegler

The artists of the Helsinki Biennial and the Uniarts Helsinki’s Research Pavilion discussed their works exhibited in Helsinki during the summer. The discussion gave an opportunity to meet other artists and have a closure for the summer exhibitions of the Research Pavilion #4 Helsinki at Hietaniemi beach and of the soon to be finished Helsinki Biennial at Vallisaari Island (open until 26.9.2021). The discussion was held in the Ateljé Hall of the Hietsu Pavilion, where Salla Myllylä’s work Season Room (2021) was displayed. The discussion was not recorded. This epilogue is an experiment that attempts to combine spoken and unspoken issues of the discussion.

Speakers: Samir Bhowmik (HB), Laura Könönen (HB), Teemu Lehmusruusu (HB), Otso Lähdeoja (RP), Salla Myllylä (RP), Sari Palosaari (HB), Mammu Rankanen (RP) and Denise Ziegler (RP, moderator). HB = Helsinki Biennial, RP = Research Pavilion

The public

After an introduction round we started talking about the role of the public in the different exhibitions and events we participated in.

Someone described how the audience was involved in the work and how this field work experience will feed into the further development of the artistic practice and research.

Someone described the feedback of a listener after a concert.

This evoked a vivid image with sounds in my imagination.

Someone was describing the finalizing of the work and the moment just before the streams of visitors entered the Island.

I felt empathy for the work being exposed to visitors.

The viewer’s experience was discussed, that can be puzzled by artworks with a very particular relationship to time, for example artworks with sudden events at unforeseen moments in time.

These kinds of aspects are worth thinking and writing about also in more “ordinary” cases of exhibited artworks.

Time and resources

The duration within which an artwork is presented and fulfills or not fulfills its objective and the wishes of the artist are sometimes in conflict with schedules and timetables of museums, galleries and biennials. Many contemporary artworks that address the geological imply a shift in time scale of comprehension in the mind of the audience.

I wonder how to structure time frames for these artworks within institutional frameworks.

Another aspect of time was discussed in connection to the production of a work that involves a long time of labor. This causes the longing of getting it finished. Someone described the feeling of getting over the work by finishing it. The work is abandoned by the artist and left to be “used” by the public however they like.

The abandoning of a work can be interpreted also as a need for a call for artists to take responsibility of their own works beyond implementing and experiencing them. How are the resources re-used or mediated into other forms? Given the funds and resources used to create a work, is it ok to abandon it in this age of resource depletion and climate change? We have to go beyond the fashionable phrasing of “sustainability” and find more appropriate terms to describe our responsibility in artistic practice and artistic research.

A concrete example of addressing used resources was the question of whether it is possible to show a site specific work in another than the original location and context.

Could approaching the work as field work that leads to a further development of the research bring new perspectives into this question?


The discussion turned to issues of collaborative ways of working within a group and the question of what traces are left of the exhibitions afterwards.

This made me consider my exhibition from a different point of view.

Someone brought up the ghosts inhabiting the island’s buildings.

It is possible that the artists working and exhibiting on Vallisaari island and in the Hietsu Pavilion left some more of them behind. Quoting rap artist Paperi T’s chorus and song title: “Sä jätät jäljen” (you leave a mark).

This text consists of feedback of the participants collected after the event. The first person form of the text (italic) is a construct including remarks of different participants of the discussion. These remarks where not expressed verbally during the discussion but where thoughts during the discussion that where remembered afterwards.

The text is edited by Denise Ziegler.

KuvA research activities

This blog highlights the activities of the research unit and doctoral programme at the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki | Tämä blogi esittelee Kuvataideakatemian tutkimusyksikön ja tohtorikoulutusohjelman tapahtumia ja toimintaa | I den här bloggen presenteras verksamheten och evenemangen vid Bildkonstsakademins forskningsenhet och doktorandprogram

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