12 Dec 2018


To the Square 2

18–31 August, Lasipalatsi Square

On the heels of the positive public resonance generated by Back to (the) Square 1 in Helsinki in March 2014, Checkpoint Helsinki with the support of HIAP presents a second iteration of the Re-Aligned project curated by Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen of Perpetuum Mobilε.

To the Square 2 will connect artistic and political movements across several continents, taking over the central Lasipalatsi Square from 18–31 August as part of Helsinki Festival. The press opening in the presence of the artists will take place on 29 August, followed by a concert on the square with Ramy Essam, the celebrated musician of the Egyptian Revolution.

“From Tunis to Cairo, from Occupy to Wikileaks and Blockupy Frankfurt, from Tiananmen Square to Moscow, what does it take to fill a square?”, the curators ask.

Their answer is to commission artists deeply involved in forms of resistance and movements “to the square”. With projects by prominent figures such as Khaled Jarrar (Palestine), whose new project is currently seeking 50 volunteers to match the 50 army-uniforms he has ordered; or Nikolay Oleynikov (Moscow), whose mobile broadcast station Radio Pravda will roam the streets and airwaves; Egypt’s most famous street-artist Ammar Abo Bakr (Luxor/Cairo); the sincerely hilarious ZIP Group (Krasnodar); Vladan Jeremić & Rena Rädle (Belgrade), satirical artist extraordinaire and editor of the Arts Leak Gazette; the Berlin-based urban transformers Raumlabor; and Núria Güell joining the project from locations including Spain and Cuba.

After the protest movements which broke out in capitals across the world from 2011 onward, we live in a period of regressive politics and at times violent repression. The question today is, what would it take for people to go To the Square 2, that is, again? Perhaps it requires new extremes of economic inequality, massive ecological catastrophes, new racism or an infinitely bigger “big brother”. For where did it all come from, and where does it go – that revolutionary energy?

To the Square project: Curated by Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen, To the Square 2 is part of the Re-Aligned project of Perpetuum Mobilε, commissioned by Checkpoint Helsinki as part of Helsinki Festival. The project is supported by HIAP. Artists Khaled Jarrar and Ramy Essam are in Helsinki as a part of the On the Move programme, curated by Marita Muukkonen and organised in collaboration with HIAP.