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Azure January February 2023 issue cover

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Sketch for the work Lost Islands, 2021. Performative expedition, video installation, cable installation and assemblage. Commissioned by HAM Helsinki Biennial 2021

The inaugural Helsinki Biennial presents over 40 artists and artist groups from Finland and across the globe, including 75% new commissions and site-specific works sensitively positioned across its remarkable setting in the Baltic Sea.

Responding to, whilst safeguarding, Vallisaari’s natural environment, the exhibition The Same Sea reflects upon the ever-pressing notion of interdependence. Curated by Pirkko Siitari and Taru Tappola, head curators of Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), new commissions embrace diverse themes like nature, borders, identities, human traces, time and empathy. A number of artists have taken inspiration from subjects relating to the daily lives of Vallisaari’s former residents and the island’s natural landscape and military history, as well as wider topics around the local and global consequences of human activity and alternative visions of the future.

An extensive programme of real-life contemporary art exhibitions, workshops, events, and educational activities will be available to in-person audiences as permitted by COVID-19 restrictions, as well as a vast array of digital initiatives accessible for remote audiences, including a new collaboration with Facebook Open Arts.

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