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Helsinki’s First Biennale

The inaugural edition of the Helsinki Biennial 2020, called The Same Sea, will reflect on the notion of interdependence. Pirkko Siitari and Taru Tappola will bring together 35 international artists and artist groups from Finland and elsewhere around the world, the event will run from 12 June to 27 September 2020.

Vallisaari Island, ©Matti Pyykkö

Located on the city’s Vallisaari Island, a former military base, the Helsinki Biennial 2020 will be comprised of 80% new commissions and site-specific works. Using the setting of Vallisaari to form the tangible and conceptual starting point for the curation of the 2020 biennial, The Same Sea will place emphasis on the biosphere as one interconnected entity.

The diverse environment of Vallisaari sets a strict framework for the biennial. In accordance with the Helsinki City Strategy – aiming to be carbon neutral by 2035 and reduce emissions by 60% by 2030 – Helsinki Biennial 2020 emphasises the importance of responsible values. Offering alternative ways of experiencing a biennial, Helsinki Biennial champions art’s role in creating channels for discourse, radical empathy, and ecological ethics.

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