May 26, 2007 - framework: the finnish art review - Special Nordic Issue, # 7/June´07: Nationality in Context
May 26, 2007

Special Nordic Issue, # 7/June´07: Nationality in Context

Photo:René Block, the curator of the Nordic Pavilion in the Venice Biennale 2007.
 Photo by Lars Ramberg, January 2007

Special Nordic Issue, # 7/June´07: Nationality in Context

Framework: The Finnish Art Review Issue 7/ June´07, built upon a theme of Nationality in Context, is published as a special Nordic issue, focusing on the art scenes in five Nordic countries. It contains a special section – that is published also as a free copy newsletter – on the Nordic Pavilion and its satellite, the Aalto Pavilion, at the Venice Biennale. The artists in the exhibition of the pavilions, Welfare Fare Well, are featured: Adel Abidin (Finland), Jacob Dahlgren (Sweden), Toril Goksøyr & Camilla Martens (Norway), Sirous Namazi (Sweden), Lars Ramberg (Norway), and Maaria Wirkkala (Finland). They have been invited by René Block, an internationally acclaimed artistic director of exhibitions and biennials.

By including artists from different national backgrounds, the exhibition emphasizes the fact that geographical maps and foundations of cultural identities are under re-formation today, also in the North. Interesting is also the fact that the six projects are produced by artists who didnt know each other across the national borders. This emphasises that the Nordic countries are not a homogenous entity where we could speak of certain particularities, similarities or sameness. However, interestingly enough, the non-Nordic curator has been able to pay a close attention to the questions of the Nordic society and culture.

In the course of building up the famous Nordic welfare society the Nordic countries have willingly wanted to give an impression of themselves as caring and helping nations in the global context. However, all Nordic countries have an increasing number of nationalists who are demanding that their own borders should be closed and striving to ensure that their part of the world retains its national sovereignty and economic privileges. The growing fear of the other divides people into we and them. Black immigrants cleaning the window outside the Nordic Pavilion are not allowed to get in the other side and participate in the popular recreational game of darts. This is a strong metaphor for confusion when confronting the question: How come these most affluent societies in world history practice policies which increase social polarization and nourish scare, cynicism, powerlessness and racism?

For René Block the titles of the exhibitions he has curated have always played a significant role in their attempt to crystallize his given approach. This time, he says, Welfare – Fare Well does not stand for a theme or concept, but is a motto. May welfare fare well! Unfortunately, however, fare well can also be understood as farewell, as in goodbye. Id like to leave some space for individual interpretation.
Framework: Special Nordic Issue will be launched in Open-Air Campo Event: Future of Welfare on Campo di Santa Margherita, Venice on Saturday 9th of June, 2007 at 8 11 pm, organized in collaboration with Framework: The Finnish Art Review, Filosofia e Questioni Pubbliche (FQP, Rome), Fondazione Humanity, Il Saggiatore, and Cultural Association PLUG, Venice. The three hour event will take place under the Patronage of the Municipalities of Venice, Murano and Burano and includes two public panels, bringing together a number of contributors:

Panel in English at 8 8:30 pm: René Block, Curator of the Nordic Pavilion 2007, Berlin; Yrjö Haila, Professor of Environmental Policy, University of Tampere, Finland; Agnes Kohlmeyer, Curator and Professor of Contemporary Art History, IUAV University, Venice. Coordinator: Camilla Seibezzi, Plug, Venice.

Panel in Italian at 9 9:45 pm: Cesare Damiano, Italian Minister of Welfare, Rome; Sebastiano Maffettone, Director of FQP, LUISS ‘Guido Carli’ University, Rome; Maria Rosa Sossai, Curator and Art Critic, Venice; Ingrid Salvatore, Political Philosopher, University of Salerno; Laura Bazzicalupo, Professor of Political Philosophy, University of Salerno. Coordinator: Luca Formenton, Il Saggiatore.

The arrangements will be assisted by the artist group Cheap Finnish Labour.
YKONs video work More than a Joke: Who Laughes Last, Laughs Longest! Fake It till You Make It! (M8 – Summit of Micronations, Singapore, 2006) will be screened at 10-11 pm.

FRAME Finnish Fund for Art Exchange
Merimiehenkatu 36 D 527, FI-00150 Helsinki
Phone 358 (0)40 5070809,

framework: the finnish art review
Share - Special Nordic Issue, # 7/June´07: Nationality in Context
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York