13/06/2014 - 17/08/2014


Dissolving Frontiers, the fifth annual summer exhibition at HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme takes a look at questions of ecology, modernity, and contemporary life with an international group of artists. There will be disappearances, traces, and new connections.

Artists: Brett Bloom & Bonnie Fortune (Copenhagen), Fernando Garcia-Dory (Madrid, Mallorca), Tue Greenfort (Berlin), Hanna Husberg (Stockholm) & Laura McLean (London), Mari Keski-Korsu (Helsinki, Sulkava), Tonka Maleković (Zagreb), Khaled Ramadan (Beirut, Nicosia) and Nestori Syrjälä (Helsinki).

The exhibition is curated by Jenni Nurmenniemi (HIAP, Helsinki) and Jussi Koitela (Helsinki). Dissolving Frontiers is a part of Frontiers in Retreat, a five-year project coordinated by HIAP.


There is widespread belief in the capability of “modern” societies’ to rationally solve complex social, political, and economic problems and to correct the miscalculations of earlier generations. These societies are seen to have developed through progressive steps from primitive to more advanced modes of existence, with the fruits of this civilization process – modern science and technological innovations – having provided the tools for continuing the progress of the members of these societies on Earth.

This assumed progress has taken place within the framework of nation states. Their success has been measured by economic growth derived from consuming the resources of Nature. An understanding of Nature as separate from human culture has provided an endless source of otherness, and a plethora of specialized disciplines have promised to offer humankind all the knowledge needed to benefit from it.

Paradoxically, in light of observations and research from over the last four decades, it seems that these assumptions have brought the ecosystem, of which the human species is a part, into a drastic state of imbalance. Despite signals on a planetary scale of transformations caused by human activities, the mainstream mind-set is still set in the mode of endless economic growth and progress. However, the conviction of human capability to handle ecological, social, and cultural crisis, has begun to waver. This brings about an increasing sense of urgency for new approaches, understandings and skills. Space has to be made for speculation and uncertainty, instead of trying to cling on to existing truths.

The exhibition Dissolving Frontiers at HIAP Gallery Augusta finds its structure from the tension between modernist modes of organising human life and the need for new perspectives that require decomposing and unlearning its assumed truths, as well as the adoption of more speculative approaches.

The rear exhibition hall is dedicated to artworks by Khaled RamadanHanna Husberg & Laura McLeanNestori Syrjälä and Tonka Maleković. In their different ways, they deal with disappearance, either anticipated or actualised, as well as with roots, traditions and traces of what remains after something that has once existed will dissolve into something else.

In Malekovic’s Garden Circles a nearly 40-year-old community garden of one of the largest apartment blocks in Europe is bulldozed in one day without warning. Ramadan, with his documentary Maldives to be or not (2013), provides perspectives on the modernisation project of the Maldives and its politicised ecology. In their collaborative video work, also Husberg and McLean take a look at the Maldives and speculate on possible futures for this nation state anticipated to dissolve into the ocean within the next century. Nestori Syrjälä’s new video focuses on a subjective, embodied experience of ecological crisis.

The front space provides an open platform for new approaches and speculation. Over the course of the summer 2014, artists Tue GreenfortFernando Garcia-DoryMari Keski-Korsu, andBrett Bloom & Bonnie Fortune will make their marks and leave traces in the space. Their contributions open up new perspectives on existence on Earth by looking at questions of new technologies and territory, the dynamic of the urban and the rural, the secrets of the plant world, communication between humans and other species, and through finding new ways of listening to and being embedded in our environment.



HIAP Gallery Augusta
Suomenlinna B 28 / 2
00190 Helsinki

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