March 12, 2010 - IHME Helsinki - Susan Philipsz
March 12, 2010

Susan Philipsz

Photo: Susan Philipsz

IHME 2010
Festival of Contemporary Art, Helsinki

IHME Project
Susan Philipsz, When Day Closes
Helsinki Central Railway Station
12 March – 11 April 2010

Old Student House, Helsinki
26 – 28 March

Susan Philipsz’s New Public Work is the IHME Project 2010

IHME is an annual Contemporary Art Festival in three parts: the IHME Project, a new, commissioned work in a public space; the IHME Days discussion forum; and the IHME Editions.

The IHME Project 2010 is a sound installation in Helsinki designed by Scottish sculptor Susan Philipsz. She creates sculptures using sound, and is interested in the values associated with space and in how sound can define architecture. Among the key elements of Philipsz’s approach are the psychological effects of songs and the way that songs can evoke immediate emotions and memories.

Susan Philipsz describes her new work, When Day Closes, as follows:

“During my research for IHME Project 2010 I became very interested in a particular tradition of Finnish lullabies, which are known as Tuonela lullabies. The place Tuonela is a metaphor for death and is a common theme in many of these lullabies. In Song of My Heart ( Sydämeni Laulu) by Aleksis Kivi, which appears in his novel Seven Brothers (Seitsemän veljestä) a woman seems to wish her baby dead. The lullaby was subsequently set to music by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. My rendition of Song of My Heart utilises the high vaulted ellipsoid ceiling of the Main Hall of Helsinki’s Central Railway Station. By projecting sound upwards, into the domed ceiling the sound travels around the curve, falling on the other side, creating a ‘whispering gallery’ effect. The sound is being projected from special hypersonic speakers, which direct and localise the sound creating an intimate experience in a very public place. Listening to something that is intimate or private in public can have an unsettling effect, making people more aware of their environment, appreciating the qualities of the here and now.”

In the fall 2009, for the IHME edition Philipsz recorded a series of lullabies taken from well known cult horror movies and had them play to a black screen on the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) after closedown.

Curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev will visit Helsinki on March 11 for the launch of When Day Closes to discuss the work in public with Susan Philipsz.

IHME Days: Sound as Art Work and Art in Public Space

The IHME Days, a discussion forum on contemporary art and society, are being held for the second time on March 26-28, 2010, at the Old Student House in Helsinki, Finland.

In the spirit of Susan Philipsz’s IHME Project, this year’s themes are sound as art work and art in public space. The programme begins on Friday with a series of lectures discussing sound in art. Participating in the discussion are among others artist and researcher Petri Kuljuntausta (Helsinki), artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff (Stockholm) and sound designer Jim McKee (San Francisco).

Saturday’s presentations offer perspectives on Susan Philipsz’s art and her IHME Project. This includes Lynne Cooke, formerly curator of Dia Art Foundation and currently chief curator at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, who will talk about Philipsz’s art in the context of her contemporaries and the sound-art scene.

The IHME workshops begin on Friday with YLE Radio Atelier’s Sound Workshop, followed by Sari Kaasinen’s Lullaby Workshop and Mieskuoro Huutajat’s Shouting Workshop on Saturday. On Sunday a workshop produced by Pixelache gives children an opportunity to construct electronic instruments.

Sunday’s theme is art in public space. This year’s international keynote speaker is Mary Jane Jacob (USA). The theme is carried on in the IHME Marathon, which introduces Finnish contemporary artists and engages them in discussion. The evening ends with The Trial, in which topical issues are discussed using the trial format.

For the full programme please visit:


Pro Arte Foundation Finland
Kalevankatu 4, 2nd floor
00100 Helsinki
Tel.+358 (0)9-4289 9778
Fax. +358 9 2783388

IHME 2010

IHME Helsinki
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