Festival of Contemporary Art
IHME is an annual Contemporary Art Festival in three parts: the IHME Project, a new, commissioned work in a public space; the IHME Days discussion forum; and the IHME Editions.
Each year, Pro Arte Foundation Finland will invite an internationally recognised visual artist or group of artists to make a new, temporary work of art, the IHME Project, in public space in the Helsinki metropolitan region of Finland.
The way the IHME Project is to be carried out, along with its form and location, are jointly determined by the Foundation and the selected artist.
The artist creating the work will get to know the local community, the site and the situation in which the IHME Project is to take place. The aim is for the artwork to give the public opportunities for discovering new ways of looking at their immediate environment, to touch the public's collective memory, and to prompt discussion of topical subjects.
The IHME Project 2010 is a sound installation in Helsinki designed by Scottish sculptor Susan Philipsz. She creates sculptures using sound, and is interested in the values associated with space and in how sound can define architecture. Among the key elements of Philipsz's approach are the psychological effects of songs and the way that songs can evoke immediate emotions and memories.
Susan Philipsz describes her new work, When Day Closes, as follows:
"During my research for IHME Project 2010 I became very interested in a particular tradition of Finnish lullabies, which are known as Tuonela lullabies. The place Tuonela is a metaphor for death and is a common theme in many of these lullabies. In Song of My Heart (Sydämeni Laulu) by Aleksis Kivi, which appears in his novel Seven Brothers (Seitsemän veljestä) a woman seems to wish her baby dead. The lullaby was subsequently set to music by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. My rendition of Song of My Heart utilises the high vaulted ellipsoid ceiling of the Main Hall of Helsinki's Central Railway Station. By projecting sound upwards, into the domed ceiling the sound travels around the curve, falling on the other side, creating a 'whispering gallery' effect. The sound is being projected from special hypersonic speakers, which direct and localise the sound creating an intimate experience in a very public place. Listening to something that is intimate or private in public can have an unsettling effect, making people more aware of their environment, appreciating the qualities of the here and now."
In the fall 2009, for the IHME edition Philipsz recorded a series of lullabies taken from well known cult horror movies and had them play to a black screen on the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) after closedown.
Curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev will visit Helsinki on March 11 for the launch of When Day Closes to discuss the work in public with Susan Philipsz.
IHME Days: Sound as Art Work and Art in Public Space
The IHME Days, a discussion forum on contemporary art and society, are being held for the second time on March 26-28, 2010, at the Old Student House in Helsinki, Finland.
In the spirit of Susan Philipsz's IHME Project, this year's themes are sound as art work and art in public space. The programme begins on Friday with a series of lectures discussing sound in art. Participating in the discussion are among others artist and researcher Petri Kuljuntausta (Helsinki), artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff (Stockholm) and sound designer Jim McKee (San Francisco).
Saturday's presentations offer perspectives on Susan Philipsz's art and her IHME Project. This includes Lynne Cooke, formerly curator of Dia Art Foundation and currently chief curator at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, who will talk about Philipsz's art in the context of her contemporaries and the sound-art scene.
The IHME workshops begin on Friday with YLE Radio Atelier's Sound Workshop, followed by Sari Kaasinen's Lullaby Workshop and Mieskuoro Huutajat's Shouting Workshop on Saturday. On Sunday a workshop produced by Pixelache gives children an opportunity to construct electronic instruments.
Sunday's theme is art in public space. This year's international keynote speaker is Mary Jane Jacob (USA). The theme is carried on in the IHME Marathon, which introduces Finnish contemporary artists and engages them in discussion. The evening ends with The Trial, in which topical issues are discussed using the trial format.
Pro Arte Foundation Finland
Kalevankatu 4, 2nd floor 00100 Helsinki Finland
Tel.+358 (0)9-4289 9778 Fax. +358 9 2783388 e-mail: email@example.com
Main Sponsors: HYY Group, Sokos Hotel Torni, Taide
In Cooperation with: British Council, MUU, Radioatelier, Radio Helsinki,
Pixelache, The Ministry for Foreign Affairs, VR
Further Information and interview inquiries
Paula Toppila, Project Manager, Pro Arte Foundation Finland, tel. +358-45-1240096, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaija Suni, Press and Marketing, Pro Arte Foundation Finland, tel. +358-45-632 6267, email@example.com
Event: 11 March at 5 pm, VR Auditorium, Rautatienkatu1, Helsinki
Helsinki Central Railway Station, Kaivokatu 1
Old Student House, Mannerheimintie 3
All events are admission-free