Taking inspiration from an EU edict proposing open access to publicly funded research, the University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki) announced the “Research Pavilion: The Utopia of Access” in the context of the 57th Venice Biennale, with three international exhibitions and 50 multidisciplinary Camino Events that explore the overarching theme of open accessibility.
By Efi Michalarou
Photo: Uniarts Helsinki Archive
“The Research Pavilion: The Utopia of Access” analyze the implications of liberal policies on artistic practice, also by showcasing how universities and academies function today as experimental laboratories within contemporary art and examining the limits and consequences of open access in the arts, education, research, and politics. The project hosts three exhibitions between May and October, and also features a parallel cross-artistic program called “Camino Events” that includes 50 workshops, artistic interventions, screenings, discussions on artistic research and research within the arts and performances. In generating a series of exhibitions and activities for critical art and thinking, the Research Pavilion will not only present artistic research to a wider audience, but also introduce visions of a reality that has not yet been realised in theory or practice. The Research Pavilion is created and hosted by Uniarts Helsinki, and realized together with the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and the Swedish Art Universities’ collaboration Konstex in co-operation with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Zurich University of the Arts. The first exhibition “You Gotta Say Yes to Another Access”, presents a multiplicity of interpretations and approaches from artists doing research in northern Europe. It offers a strong statement about the accessibility of various aesthetics and political approaches within the doctoral studies and artistic educational sphere as a whole in Finland, Norway and SwedenIn “Galleria del Vento” Florian Dombois operates a wind-tunnel lab, which brings together various disciplines, on the roof of Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). The tunnel functions as a picture puzzle: For researchers accustomed to starting with a problem, it provides a tangible surface and a stringent experimental arrangement; for those, however, who move outside the logic of a scientific problem, its interior and its walls provide an empty space, an invisible sculpture. To see the wind, one must first visualize it and introduce smoke, feathers, or soap bubbles; to explore the wind, one must propose a model, a shape, or a kite. And thus reveal oneself. The final exhibition “Hauntopia/what if” sets a stage to welcome the appearance of specters: events, signs, images, practices and objects that point towards a violent past and sketch a possible future. In the context of arts-based research the show introduces conjuring specters as a proper method. Hauntopia’s prospects for unsettling the here and now is tested out. Building on a glossary of hauntopia the exhibited works are looking for traces, negations even, of things, stories and future visions, while in many instances making use of formats that employ ephemeral, opaque or sci-fi elements. Thus the exhibition explores the range of a ghostly aesthetics. “Camino Events”, which lend their name from the Research Pavilion’s venue, Sala del Camino, consist of screenings, concerts, seminars, artist talks, performances and interventions from over 100 artists and artistic-researchers from art universities of Northern Europe.
Info: Curators: Curators: Jan Kaila and Henk Slager (You Gotta Say Yes to Another Acces), Anette Baldauf and Renate Lorenz (Hauntopia/what if), Sala del Camino, Campo S. Cosmo, 621 Giudecca, Venice, Duration: 11/5-15/10/17 (Closed for Installation: 3-7/7/17 , 14/17/8/17 & 28/8-7/9/17), Days & Hours: Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00, www.researchpavilion.fi