Frontiers in Retreat

Frontiers in Retreat was a 5-year international collaboration project constructed around artist residencies. Operating slowly over an extended period of time, it fostered artistic and multidisciplinary research, production, discussion and exhibitions around ecology. The numerous projects that emerged from within its rhizomatic structure consider complex co-dependencies between human and other forms of life as well as possibilities for making the paradigm and cultural shift towards post-fossil subjectivities, societies and aesthetics.

In the course of the project, 25 contemporary artists from across Europe were invited to residencies run by seven ‘remote’ residency organisations. Their sites, recognised as frontiers, offer unique insights into socio-economic and geopolitical processes entwining with environmental questions. Most of the sites are located far way from urban centers within diverse natural environments and fragile ecosystems such as glaciers, old-growth forests, archipelagos, mountain villages or small agricultural communities.

The project started in late 2013 and continued until Autumn 2018. It is coordinated by HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme in partnership with following organisations: Cultural Front – GRAD, Serbia; Skaftfell – Center for Visual Art, Iceland, Scottish Sculpture Workshop – SSW, Scotland; Interdisciplinary Art Group SERDE, Latvia; Centre d’Art i Natura de Farrera, Catalonia; Mustarinda, Finland, and Jutempus, Lithuania.

For further information about the concept, sites, artists and projects, please visit

The project is funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

The project is also supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Kone Foundation and Alfred Kordelin Foundation.