The Residencies Reflected symposium opens with a welcoming event and a key note lecture at the Theatre Academy in Helsinki and continues over two days (Thu 17 and Fri 18 November) as an intensive retreat at the HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme on the island of Suomenlinna. The programme is structured around keynote presentations, panel discussions and workshops focused on a range of key concerns.

WED 16.11.
Key note lecture and opening event

Location: Theatre Academy, Auditorium 1, Haapaniemenkatu 6
Time: 17-21

Introduction: Travelling has historically been an integral part of the artists’ profession in Europe. Either forced or voluntarily, artists have travelled for commissions to earn their living, to study, out of curiosity, or to escape political situations. The encounters with different geographical regions and cultures, traditions and technologies have translated into new narratives, images and imaginaries in the cross-pollination of affects and influences. Inspiration, better working conditions, income, innovations and artistic communities have thus been an integral part of the history of artists’ movement and, consequently, artistic movements. The opening day of the symposium will give glimpses into the past mobility and gatherings of artists through the European artists’ colonies in the 19th century. Born out of the societal transformations following the industrial revolution, artists’ colonies offer a resonant backdrop and a historical grounding for the reconsideration of residencies amidst the present shifting landscape.


17.00 Welcoming words, Markus Konttinen, Dean, Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki

17.15 Introduction to the Residencies Reflected symposium
Irmeli Kokko, Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki
Taru Elfving, Frame Contemporary Art Finland

17.30 Opening Lecture
European art-colonies of the 19th Century
Nina Lübbren, Deputy Head, Principal Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and Chelmsford, UK

Hanna Johansson, Professor, Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki

Drinks and snacks

THU 17.11.
Symposium day I

Location: HIAP Suomenlinna, Augusta, Suomenlinna B 28 / 2
Time: 9-22

Introduction: The core mission of artist residencies has traditionally been to nurture artistic development by providing artists with time and space, and an environment suitable for creative work. But what does artistic development mean in the context of residencies? In art education artistic development is understood to refer to changes within the artist’s relation to his/her practice. Peer to peer discussions and critiques in the studio are the most important tools for artistic development in residencies as in education. Since the 1990s, artist residencies have also had a major role in supporting artistic research and methodologies outside the studio. The sites and situations of residencies have allowed artists to draw attention in their projects to people and voices, histories and cultures otherwise left unheard.

During the first day of the symposium we will be looking at the changes in artistic work within today’s context of transnational migrations, ecological crisis, and neoliberal work ethic. While residencies have aimed at providing a space for artistic work and development, how do the global megatrends affect this core task, and what alternatives and modes of artistic practice may residencies allow now both for the artists and the communities within which they operate? What kind of new significations of artistic development have residencies contributed to outside of institutional art education? How do residencies function as environments for learning? Should the aims and tasks of residencies be re-evaluated today as cross-cultural nodes for people, art, and communication?


9.00 Ferry from Market Square to Suomenlinna

9.30 Morning coffee at HIAP Gallery Augusta

10-12 Keynote lecture
Pascal Gielen, Professor, Cultural Sociology, Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (ARIA)
The key note lecture will be looking at changes in artistic work within today’s context of neoliberal work ethic and the potentiality of residencies for more sustainable working conditions for artists and art-professionals.

Adam Sutherland, Grizedale Art Center, Cumbria
Donna Lynas, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge
Irmeli Kokko

12-13.30 Lunch

13.30-16 Panel discussion
Laurel Ptak, Triangle Art, New York
Lex ter Braak, Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht
Nikos Doulos, artist, educator, Amsterdam/Athens
Barbara Hernandez, SOMA, Mexico City
Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw

16-16.30 Break with coffee & snacks

16.30-18 Discussions and presentations:
The symposium participants can choose between three programme strands:

  1. ‘Residencies as interdisciplinary research environments’, a discussion moderated by Christian Skovberg Jensen / Inter Arts Center, Malmö
  2. ‘What happens with the art (works) created in residencies’, a discussion with Bojana Panevska / TransArtists, Amsterdam
  3. Short presentations:

– Patricia Healy McMeans / Edinburgh College of Art: Cove Park and the Scottish Residency Ecology
– Rita Vargas / University of Jyväskylä: International Artists-in-Residence 1990-2010: Mobility, Technology and Identity in Everyday Art Practices
– Angela Serino: Residencies as Learning Environments (aftermath of the International Meetings of AiR Milan)
– Sally De Kunst: Re-invent the Residency

18:00 Suomenlinna walk and visit to HIAP residency studios

19.00 Dinner at Pirunkirkko, in Suomenlinna

FRI 18.11.
Symposium day II

Location: HIAP Suomenlinna, Augusta, Suomenlinna B 28 / 2
Time: 9-17

Introduction: The last day of the symposium sets out to rethink in depth the significance and significations of mobility in relation to artistic practices at present. The discussion aims at tracing out the complex coordinates of residencies, which are currently being redrawn by ecological, political and economic processes worldwide, and addressing the acute questions concerning sustainability and access they raise – in terms of material resources as well as time and space, knowledge production and discourse, communities and borders of various kinds. How can residencies offer safe spaces and escape routes as retreats from political tensions, pressures of the market, or patterns and systems of thought? How can they foster transformative encounters between practices, people and places across disciplinary, cultural, and geographical boundaries? What is the impact and value of travel beyond network and career opportunities, and how may residencies nurture this amidst all the accelerating international circulation? Moreover, what kind of futures artist residencies can envisage and work towards in the present? Can residencies work towards new cosmopolitics today?


9.00 Ferry from Market Square to Suomenlinna

9.15 Walking tours of Suomenlinna and HIAP: ecologies and histories

10.00 Morning coffee at HIAP Gallery Augusta

10.30 Introduction to the day
Cosmopolitics for Tomorrow
Taru Elfving, Frame Contemporary Art Finland

11-13 Panel discussion
Christine Tohmé, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut
Marita Muukkonen, Perpetuum Mobile
Antti Majava & Alma Heikkilä, Mustarinda, Hyrynsalmi
Bartaku, artist, Frontiers in Retreat
Taru Elfving

13-14.30 Lunch

14.30-16 Conclusion and group discussions
Groups and topics to be defined by the participants during the symposium

16-17 Farewell drinks

Evening & night – additional programme in collaboration with Baltic Circle (see more information below)

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Baltic Circle Festival

The Baltic Circle Festival coincides with the Residencies Reflected symposium and features programme that the symposium participants might be interested in. Below are picks from Baltic Circle festival programme that takes place before and after the symposium in case you would wish to arrive in Helsinki earlier, or to stay for the weekend after the symposium.


Riding on a cloud by Rabih Mroué at 19.00, with separate tickets to be reserved in advance


Baltic Circle festival club at Circo, Suvilahti, from 19.00 until late, free entrance

Philipp Gehmacher performance at Gallery Sinne at 19.30, with separate tickets to be reserved in advance

Wolf Safari by Other Spaces collective at 21.00, with separate tickets to be reserved in advance


New Solidarities by Alexandra Pirici, Raluca Voinea at 11.00, free entrance

More information on Baltic Circle Festival programme at