The Same Sea. An online discussion with the director and curators of the First Helsinki Biennial

26.08, 19:00



26.08, 19:00

The First Helsinki Biennial is being held from 12 June to 26 September 2021, surrounded by the one-of-a-kind natural environment of the former military island of Vallisaari. The name of the first biennale, The Same Sea, is a reminder that everything is connected to everything else and therefore mutually dependent. 

The island is located in the open sea, not far from Helsinki, and is a natural reserve: its unique natural environment and the ruins of its historical structures are inviolable. The Helsinki Biennale is founded on principles of careful and responsible interaction with the surrounding nature, and the exhibitions shown on Vallisaari have been installed with the utmost care for the needs of the environment. 

The artists participating in the biennale created their works on Vallisaari itself, inspired by its picturesque and wild nature. The island provides the themes for contemplation, helping to crystallise the various concepts of interconnection and mutual dependence. Among these themes are the relationship between humans and nature, time and transformation, borders and identity, and kinship and empathy.

On August 26, at the online-gathering with Helsinki Biennial director Maija Tanninen-Mattila and curators Pirkko Siitari and Taru Tappola, we will discuss how the exhibition was organised, how the curatorial themes were developed, the impact of the biennial, and plans for the immediate future. 
The discussion will be moderated by Anna Kirikova, director’s adviser on international cooperation (Manege). 

The discussion will be held in English, with simultaneous interpretation into Russian.

The discussion will be conducted over Zoom. Participation is free, but you must first register and install the Zoom platform. An hour before the meeting, you will receive a link by e-mail (sent to the address indicated at registration) through which you can join the conference.


The event is organised by the Central Exhibition Hall Manege together with The Finnish Institute in St. Petersburg. Partner for Manege’s educational programme — The Mikhail Bazhenov Foundation.

Photo: Zodiak presents: Kärkkäinen & Tarvainen: The Wall, 2021/ ©Maija Toivanen/HAM/Helsinki Biennial 2021