Apply for the 5th Art Ii Biennial in Ii, Finland!

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Art Ii Biennial 2018: States of Matter

The concept of the Art Ii Biennial 2018 is built around the image of water: as a fundamental element in all forms of life, a cultural interface, a transformable material, a natural archive.

Water (H2O) forms the world's streams, lakes, oceans and rain. It is vital for living organisms, and the major constituent of their fluids. The fact that the human body itself consists of 70 % water (and the percentage is even higher with newborns, up to 85 %) alone demonstrates how crucial water is to our life.

Throughout the history, civilizations have flourished around rivers, seas and other major waterways. Also in Ii, located next to Iijoki river that runs to the North Sea, water has been one of the essential elements of the region.

What is especially interesting about water are the three states it can exist in: as a solid material, liquid or gas. They are also sometimes called “three states of matter”. Water keeps changing its form and yet stays present in different environmental situations. Snow and ice, the sea, the rivers, steam and annual cyclic change play an important role in forming the Northern landscape that, in its turn, influences everyday life and world views of the people who inhabit those territories.

Water can also be seen as a flexible, transparent border and a cultural interface. It used to separate the lands of different tribes the same way it separates many countries today. Yet, water unites territories as much as it divides them by offering a channel for transportation and exchange. In many ways water functions as a communication and resource network and natural archive that makes and retrieves the changes of the landscape.

Water is also claimed to be not only the mother, but also the matrix of life. Life on earth has been hosted primarily in water for 3.8 billion years, and only 540 million years ago life moved to terrestrial milieu. Water is one of the building blocks of life and without it life cannot be sustained. It is the universal solvent that dissolves more substances than any other liquid. It lubricates the cell, transports materials and molecule, carries nutrients, cleanses waste, facilitates chemical reaction. With a still surface or in raging streams, underwater realm, as splinters of ice or a cloud of fog - whether we approach water with excitement or fear, it always fascinates us.

Why is water so important in today’s world? How does it reflect the changes taking place in a global scale? How can environmental and biological art adapt to the transforming surrounding and interact with it? These are some of the questions that the Art Ii Biennial 2018: States of Matter addresses.

Within this perspective, the Art Ii Biennial 2018: States of Matter invites artists/artist groups whose practice involves or refers to water-connected elements. AIB18 will implement 1-2 physical public artworks (max. budget 30 000 € including all costs) and a series of process-based and/or socially engaged works, that will be presented on the 8-10th of June 2018. The opening of AIB18 will take place on the 8th of June 2018. The preparation period will involve a series of mind opening collaborative discussions, workshops and participatory events that will accompany the residents of Ii towards the biennial. The organizers of the biennale are also open to proposals for projects and events for the parallel program. The selected artworks and their authors will be presented in a publication and a series of videoclips produced by AIB18.

The participants of the AIB18 will be selected by the curatorial team based on an open call, as well as individual invitations. The list of artists will be announced at the end of the year 2017. The curatorial team of the fifth edition of Art Ii Biennial in 2018 includes Anastasia Patsey (director of Museum of Nonconformist Art in St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Art Residency program, international guest curator), Antti Tenetz (regional artist of bioart working in Arts Promotion Centre Finland) and Merja Briñón (artistic director of AIB18). The selected artworks will be shown at the Ii municipality centre and the environmental art park in summer 2018.

Art Ii Biennial addresses current themes, participates in the public discussion through the methods of art and combines the cultural heritage of Ii with the contemporary art. A crucial part of the event is to facilitate interactions between the local community and international art professionals through communal activities. The northern landscape and humanity have been the essential topics of Art Ii Biennial over the years. The AIB’s outdoors site-specific art works are mostly located at the environmental art park and the village centre. Temporal, local and cultural conditions affect the production of these artworks. One of the main values of the event is ecological, economical, social and cultural sustainability.

Conditions for applying:

  • There is no entry fee.
  • Each author may submit 1-3 proposals and 3 examples of previous projects (jpeg images or/and link to the video) accompanied by a short synopsis, CV, estimated budget and contact information.
  • AIB18 will cover the agreed production costs of the works including the artist fee, travel and accommodation costs.
  • Working language is English.