press release

The 7th Turku Biennial explores the unexpected and unfamiliar. Eighteen artists and artist groups from Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Netherlands, Germany and United Kingdom have been invited to participate in the exhibition with the theme The Unexpected Guest.

How to approach the unexpected in the most interesting way? Who is a guest—or stranger—to whom? The Unexpected Guest is a theme that, despite hinting towards the unknown, is familiar and immediate. Both sudden halts and the passing of time are visible in the new works made for the Turku Biennial. The twists of the daily life or the turns that take place in artistic work are examples through which the artists have discussed the theme of the unfamiliar. The unexpected guest may appear as a single arresting image or a story told by a site-specific installation.

In the 2015 edition of the Turku Biennial, the invited artists have also had the opportunity to influence who appears in the exhibition. In the spring of 2014, a portfolio submission to the Turku Biennial was announced to artists working in Finland. In addition to presenting their own work and ideas, the artists were to suggest an artist colleague working in Finland or elsewhere in Europe whom they would like to see in the exhibition. Based on the applications and suggestions, nine artists or artist groups and their guests were chosen for the exhibition. The aim was to give the artists a chance to examine the theme of the exhibition not only through their own artistic work, but also through the work of other interesting or inspiring artists and so enrich the exploration of the theme.

The selection of artists was made by Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova's researcher Eeva Holkeri, communications officer Selina Kiiskinen, curator Silja Lehtonen and museum director Johanna Lehto-Vahtera.

The winner of the Turku Biennial will be selected Gunnar B. Kvaran, director of Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, and announced in June. The winner of the biennial is awarded a prize of 5,000 euros.

All the artists are introduced in the Turku Biennial 2015 publication.

The Turku Biennial is organised by Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, a museum of history and contemporary art in Turku, Finland.

Anna Breu with guest Erkka Nissinen, Erno Enkenberg with guest Andy Parker, Krister Gråhn and Jarno Vesala (as collaborators), Aulis Harmaala with guest Gil & Moti, Marjatta Holma with guest Stig Baumgartner, Aino Kannisto with guest Satu Haavisto (as collaborators), Kalle Mustonen with guest Ottmar Hörl, Maija Närhinen with guest Jacob Dahlgren, Milla-Kariina Oja with guest Dénes Farkas.