Speaker Session 1 by Tanvi Mishra
Tanvi Mishra works with images as a photo editor, curator, and writer based in New Delhi, India. Among her interests are rights and representation in image-making, research strategies in visual culture as well as the notion of truth/fiction in photography, particularly in the current political landscape.
She has served as the Creative Director of The Caravan, a journal of politics and culture. She is part of the photo-editorial team of PIX, a South Asian publication and display practice. She works as an independent curator and has recently curated the Louis Roederer Discovery Award for the 2023 edition of Recontres d'Arles. Tanvi has also been part of the curatorial teams of Photo Kathmandu, Delhi Photo Festival and BredaPhoto.
Her writing on photography has been published in various platforms including Aperture, FOAM and 1000 Words. She has served on multiple juries, including World Press Photo, Chennai Photo Biennale Awards and the Catchlight Global Fellowship, and is currently part of the international advisory committee of World Press Photo.
Dialogue Session 1: Artists and Curators - working with equity, dialogue by Maija Karhunen and Satu Herrala
Maija Karhunen is a dancer and performer and has worked extensively in the art field as an expert, writer and in arts administration. The last four years Maija has worked at Culture for All, an organisation promoting equality, accessibility and diversity in the Finnish art and culture field. Maija is the project manager for the Culture for All’s project Making space for artistry – equity for disabled artists and artists who are Sign Language users, funded by the Kone Foundation.
Photo Credits Minerva Juolahti.
Satu Herrala is a Helsinki-based curator and researcher with a background in dance, choreography and somatic movement practices. She is interested in how attuning to bodily coexistence informs ways of being, knowing and acting, and how collective action emerges from embodiment. Currently she is working on a doctoral research on embodied curating at Aalto University with the support of Kone Foundation. Her curatorial works include
A I S T I T / coming to our senses contemporary art programme in collaboration with Hans Rosenström (2021), and Baltic Circle International Theatre Festival’s programmes 2015-2019.
Photo Credits Hertta Kiiski.
Dialogue Session 2: Artists and Curators - working with communities, dialogue by Wisam Elfadl and Wanda Holopainen
Wisam Elfadl (she/her) was a curator for the Being Black-Afro Finns Experience exhibition, founder of Black Archives Helsinki, and a member of the Wasla collective, وصلة. With a commitment to anti-racism, intersectional feminism, and safer space policies, Wisam is a driving force in challenging prevailing notions of Islam through the decolonizing and queer lens of Wasla. Her work with archives and materials aims to build a central archive of Afro-Finnish identity, fostering education and empowerment within the community.
Wanda Holopainen is an art activist, documentarian, and storyteller. Their creative journey revolves around narratives, archives and memory. Through their artistic endeavors, Wanda seeks to reimagine and unthink our world as we know it.
Dialogue Session 3: Artists as Curators - working double roles, dialogue by Kosminen Collective and Lahti Association of Photographic Artists (VTRY)
Kosminen is a collective of four artists who ran a non-profit art space in Helsinki from 2016-2021, combining an art gallery, an art bookstore (Khaos Publishing and Temporary Bookshelf) and an open art book archive. The members of the collective are Lotta Blomberg, Helen Korpak, Anna Niskanen and Liina Aalto-Setälä, who work as visual artists, writers and art critics.
Kosminen's raison d'être is to encourage solidarity and joy in the within the art scene, both locally and online. Their methods have included publishing collectively created affordable zines, running non-profit art spaces, hosting community-curated exhibitions, giving lectures and talks to art students, and organising accessible and fun events.
Lahti Association of Photographic Artists (VTRY) was founded in 1982 to bring together artists working with photography who work or studied in the Lahti area. Now in 2023, the board of VTRY consists of artists who graduated from the LAB Institute of Design's photography department in recent years. The association aims to promote the local visibility of lens-based art by organising artist talks and producing exhibitions in Lahti with artists or collectives working with photography.
VTRY also organizes the international biannual Utopias Lahti festival, which centers around artistic practices that activate speculation, conjecture, and imagination as catalysts for systemic change. The artist-run festival aims to develop new ecological exhibition practices for presenting media art and visual art through the local circular economy. In curatorial work, the festival concentrates on collaborative working models that foster dialogue between artists in addition to dialogue between the artists and the festival team, and supporting artists materially in creating new work.
In the “Artists and Curators Working Together: How and With Whom?” seminar, VTRY is represented by Henri Airo, Toivo Heinimäki, and Kaisa Syrjänen. All three are members of VTRY’s board and also formed the working group for the Utopias Lahti Festival in 2023.
Dialogue Session 4: Collaboration of Artists and Curators – OOOTM Case Studies, dialogues by Steffi Klenz and Michael Raymond, Batia Sutter and Francesca Marcaccio, Bogdan Chthulu Smith and Taous Dahmani.
Steffi Klenz is an artist based in London who approaches photography as an expanded visual discipline. Her practice is fundamentally concerned with challenging conventional conceptions of architectural representation. Unlike conventional architectural photography, which uncritically flatters its architectural subject matter, Klenz revisits the capacities of the photographic image and architecture to go beyond containing and reproducing the built environment but instead her work bridges the gap between the flat surface of the photograph and the spatial experience of architecture.
Michael Raymond has been Assistant Curator, International Art, at Tate Modern, where he works on collection displays and acquisitions; co-curated the touring exhibitions Philip Guston (2023), Cezanne (2022) and Nam June Paik (2019); and curated the installation of Beuys’ Acorns by Ackroyd & Harvey (2021). After studying history at the University of Sheffield, he worked at the British Museum on exhibitions including Hokusai (2017), Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece (2018) and coordinated the Asahi Shimbun Displays.
The Swiss-born, Amsterdam-based artist Batia Suter (b. 1967) studied at the art academies of Zürich (CH) and Arnhem (NL), and was also trained at the Werkplaats Typografie. Suter produces monumental installations of digitally manipulated images for specific locations, and works on photo-animations, image sequences and collages, often using found historical pictures. In 2007 and 2016 she published Parallel Encyclopedia and Parallel Encyclopedia #2, artist books based on compositions of images taken from old books she has collected along the years. Her other books Surface Series, Radial Grammar and Hexamiles (Mont-Voisin) are evocative montages of found images exploring the diverse resonances of geological shapes and landscapes, visual surfaces and image structures.
Francesca Marcaccio Hitzeman
Francesca Marcaccio Hitzeman is an independent curator, art consultant and writer specializing in photography and contemporary art with an international focus. Her key skills include writing, curation, cross-disciplinary programming and connecting professionals from different backgrounds to one another. She has a strong belief in creating cross-cultural connections within the art world. Having lived in a few
different countries, she draws on her international experiences to help bring together local artists and global audiences in innovative ways. Her professional life has brought her to live in London, New York and Hong Kong where she works with galleries, museums, art fairs, institutions and private clients across the globe.
Photo credits: Luca Bellumore
As an artist-researcher, SMITH experiments with and explores the links between contemporary humanity and its boundary figures - ghosts, mutants, hybrids - engaging his own body and that of his collaborators - writers, astronauts, shamans, engineers, designers, performers or composers - in indisciplinary projects. Disturbing genres, languages and disciplines, SMITH proposes curious works, in the etymological sense of cura: curiosity and care for the world around us, the terrestrial and the celestial, the human and the non-human, the visible and the invisible, imagination and fiction. Thermal cameras, drones, neon lights, implantations of electronic chips and subcutaneous meteorites, atomic mutations or trance practices characterize his fluid work composed with technological and spiritual means that incorporate the dimensions of mystery and dream.
Taous R. Dahmani is a London-based French, British and Algerian art historian, writer and curator specialising in photography. Her projects mainly involve the links between photography and politics. She is an Associate Lecturer at London College of Communication. Her words can be found in photobooks published by Loose Joints and Chose Commune but also in magazines such as The British Journal of Photography, FOAM, GQ & 1000 Words Magazine. She is a frequent speaker and has appeared at Tate, the Getty Research Institute, the Barbican, Le Bal and La MEP. She recently curated the 2022 Louis Roederer Discovery Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles. Dahmani has been the editor of The Eyes magazine since 2019.