IHME Helsinki Commission postponed – Climate work goes on

Jana Winderen at her back fround visit to Helsinki in August 2019. Photo: Paula Toppila.

The May 4 decision by the Finnish Government on COVID-19 pandemic restrictions during the summer months affects IHME Helsinki. Following a series of negotiations, a decision has been made to postpone the staging of the sound installation planned by the artist Jana Winderen until August 2021. The commission will be installed as planned to the Rowing Stadium, Helsinki. In postponing IHME Helsinki Commission 2020 until 2021 IHME is seeking not only to ensure that Winderen is able to carry out the work to a high standard, but also to act responsibly and ensure visitor safety.

“My cooperation with IHME and other partners has progressed really well in terms of the background work and technical implementation. However, a significant part of the working process for me – the two-week recording and background-work trip to Helsinki – will not be possible due to travel restrictions. This part of the work is necessary for the completion of the work and requires my presence on site, not to mention tuning the work to suit the Rowing Stadium’s unique architecture and the surrounding sound environment,” says artist Jana Winderen.

Climate work continues

“We are hopeful that Jana will get to Helsinki again in the autumn and that we can finalize her research then. Meanwhile, we are focusing on what we can do, and continuing to consider how we as a contemporary art-commissioning agency are to collaborate internationally and create relevant discourse and meaning in the age of climate crisis and loss of biodiversity.

It is of prime importance that the invited artist shares IHME’s ethos of sustainability, the importance of adaptation to the climate crisis, and continual learning about the effects of the climate crisis. For example, we have made numerous ecologically sustainable decisions during Jana’s project: opted for renewable energy; found subcontractors in Finland or close to Finland; rethought the size of the installation; not forgetting replacing travel and seminars with remote meetings and interviews.” says Paula Toppila, Executive Director and Curator.

“2021 will be an exciting year for us, as we now plan to offer our audiences not one, but two unique works then,” continues Toppila.

Autumn events planned

The public event originally planned for the closing of the installation at the Rowing Stadium will be held as staging event in August 22, 2020. In the current situation this will serve to boost audience participation.

All other discussions and seminars run by IHME Helsinki and its partners will also go ahead as planned. Whether they will be live transmissions on digital platforms or will allow physical participation remains to be seen. Further details of autumn events will be announced in the near future.

In 2021, IHME will produce two commissioned works for public spaces in the capital city: IHME Helsinki 2020 and IHME Helsinki 2021. The artist who will devise the 2021 commission is to be announced in autumn 2020.

More about IHME’s ecological solutions in the production of the annual art commission at the Ecoblog >>