Connecting Points (Finland-Russia Exchange)

Connecting Points is a program that aims at strengthening the collegial and curatorial activity in artistic and cultural realm in/within Finland and in Russia. The program explores the interrelations and specific aspects of different sites and locations as well as understandings between them. A location can provide a source for action and commitment but also provide a setting from which to reach – intense and temporal – as well as profound and enduring connections. The program is currently coordinated and curated by artist-curators Miina Hujala and Arttu Merimaa who run a display window space called Alkovi in Helsinki.

In 2018 the program has included a residency stays by artist David Ter-Oganyan, a historian and curator Ilya Budraitskis and Polina Kolozaridi, a sociologist and a junior researcher in Higher School of Economics in Moscow.

In relation to Ter-Oganyan’s stay there was an exhibition in Alkovi. Ter-Oganyan’s artistic practice consists of drawing, painting, objects, video, photography, digital art and performative actions. It is founded in the counter-culture situation where art creates agency and vice versa. More about the exhibition:

Ilya Budraitskis is currently a lecturer in the Moscow High School for Social and Economic Sciences and the Institute for Contemporary Art. In connection to Ilya’s residency stay we invited filmmaker Dimitri Venkov to present his work Krisis (2016) in Helsinki on March followed by discussion between Budraitskis and Venkov. Venkov is a filmmaker working across art, film, and academic institutional contexts. Venkov’s works have been presented at Documenta 14, Vth Moscow Biennale, First Bergen Assembly, Kino der Kunst, Oberhausen, and other exhibitions and film festivals.

During Polina Kolozaridi’s stay at HIAP, a discussion event was arranged in collaboration with Titanik gallery / Artist’s Association Arte situated in Turku. The topic was ‘Digital disengagement and nostalgia: did the internet have any alternatives’. Polina Kolozaridi is a social researcher focusing on the internet and how we know, feel, anticipate and imagine technologies. She is now mostly based in Moscow, where she organizes a grassroot community of researchers.

Previous program has included:

In 2017 program consisted of residencies that were for the most part related to our collaboration with the curatorial collective TOK / Anna Bitkina & Maria Veits. More about their practice: Playwright and journalist Mikhail Kaluzhsky was invited to work on a new play in the beginning of the year and artists Lado Darakhdvelize as well as Alevtina Kakhidze were residents during August 2017. The activity of 2017 in the program focused on the States of Control- exhibition that took place in HIAP Augusta gallery and events curated by Bitkina & Veits. The new productions of Kaluzhsky’s play ‘Like, It Fake it’ and Darahvelize’s exhibition ‘Cooking the New Planet” were done in collaboration with Kiasma Theatre’s URB 17- festival. More about the exhibition can be found here: 

In 2017 the program also organized a research trip to the 4th Ural Industrial Biennial in Yekateringburg, Russia for curators and art professionals based in Finland. More about the excursion can be read form a posting in HIAP’s blog:

The program collaborates with the Finnish Embassy in Moscow especially with the Annual Internship Program for Young Russian Curators is organized by the members of the EUNIC -network (European Union National Institutes for Culture). In 2017 partnering with the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in providing a residency studio for a participant curator Natalia Fuchs.

In 2016 program included inviting a Moscow-based artist Irina Korina to take part in the programme by doing a residency in HIAP and making an exhibition in Alkovi as well as a project called ‘In-common’ / Что-то общее, that took place in a library in the suburb of Saint Petersburg. The project was a collaboration with art historian and curator Andrey Shabanov who has organized exhibitions in this local library during summer-time from 2014. Artists Crystal Bennes, Tanja Koponen and Mikko Kuorinki were invited to take part by presenting each a work in this context.


The original concept for this Finnish-Russian Exchange program (then titled Changing Places)  was developed by curator Marita Muukkonen. In 2014 curator Jenni Nurmenniemi took over the programme responsibilities and it was retitled as Connecting Points.

Finland–Russia Exchange is supported by Ministry of Education and Culture.