Blanca de la Torre and Kati Kivinen announced as head curators of Helsinki Biennial 2025
Helsinki Biennial announces the appointment of Blanca de la Torre and Kati Kivinen as head curators of its third edition, taking place in summer 2025. The biennial continues to promote and commission thought-provoking, ambitious international contemporary art while making connections between artists from Finland and around the world. Helsinki Biennial is strongly committed to responsible exhibition-making.
Blanca de la Torre is a curator, art historian and researcher whose professional work lies at the intersection of visual arts, political ecology, ecofeminism and sustainable creative practices. Her curatorial hallmark is the developing of sustainability guidelines to reduce the ecological footprint of projects, shortening distances between theory and praxis. De la Torre has previously served as chief curator of the Cuenca Biennial in Ecuador, and has curated exhibitions widely in Europe and Latin America. Her experience further opens up Helsinki Biennial's geographical perspective.
Kati Kivinen (PhD) is an art historian and curator, currently holding the position of Head of Exhibitions at HAM Helsinki Art Museum. In her curatorial practice, she examines contemporary artistic approaches in relation to diverse cultural processes and socio-political and ecological issues, within the specific framework of an art exhibition. Some of her recent curatorial projects include Coexistence – Human, Animal and Nature in Kiasma’s Collections (2019, in collaboration with S. Hacklin & S. Oksanen), and Fragile Times at Galerie im Körnerpark in Berlin (2020, with Dorothee Bienert).
“We share a longstanding interest in ecological issues and think of sustainability in a holistic way. Our shared curatorial practice includes creating sustainability guidelines that steer exhibition-making from start to finish”, de la Torre and Kivinen say. “We both find it exciting to work in the context of Helsinki – a city that has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. We are very much looking forward to making a shared contribution to this.”
Arja Miller, Director of HAM Helsinki Art Museum and Helsinki Biennial says:
“We are thrilled to welcome Blanca de la Torre and Kati Kivinen as head curators of Helsinki Biennial’s third edition. Their curatorial practice is aligned with HAM’s future-orientated vision: we want to create a platform for art that wholeheartedly welcomes everyone to engage with the transformative potential of art, and encourages responsible action towards sustainable exhibition-making. Helsinki Biennial is both internationally ambitious and locally meaningful, and presents art in dialogue with the beautiful nature of Helsinki’s archipelago.”
Blanca de la Torre is a curator, art historian and researcher whose professional work lies at the intersection of visual arts, political ecology, ecofeminism and sustainable creative practices. Her professional activity includes, in addition to curating exhibitions, artistic director of projects, seminars, workshops, international symposiums, and publishing specialized texts in books, catalogues and magazines.
Her curatorial hallmark is the developing of sustainability guidelines and decalogues to reduce the ecological footprint of the projects, shortening distances between theory and praxis.
She was chief curator of the 15th International Cuenca Biennial, and artistic co-director of the multidimensional project Overview Effect at MoCAB Museum (Belgrade) and Con los pies en la T(t)ierra at CAAM, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), where she is also head of the Aula Sostenible, the long-term platform to implement a roadmap of Sustainability in the CAAM Museum (Canary Islands, Spain). She was chief curator for ARTIUM, the Museum-Center for Contemporary Art of the Basque Country (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain). Afterwards, she has since curated exhibitions at international museums and art centers, among which the Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria; EFA, Elisabeth Foundation Project Space, New York; the Center for the Arts of Monterrey, Mexico; the Carrillo Gil Museum in Mexico City; the Contemporary Art Museum of Oaxaca, Mexico (MACO); NC-Arte Bogota, Colombia; RAER, Real Academia de España en Roma, Rome, Italy; LAZNIA Center for Contemporary Art, Gdansk, Poland, Exhibition Center Alcalá 31, Madrid; CentroCentro Art Center, Madrid; NGMA, National Gallery, Delhi, India; the MUSAC, Contemporary Art Museum of Castilla y León; 516 Contemporary Arts Museum Albuquerque, EEUU, among others.
Kati Kivinen (PhD) is an art historian and curator based in Helsinki. Her curatorial practice orientates itself towards examining contemporary artistic approaches in relation to diverse cultural processes and socio-political and ecological issues, within the specific framework of an art exhibition. She regards the art exhibition as a spatial and intellectual platform for the realization of different artistic projects; ideally, the exhibition challenges our accepted view of the world and our perspective on life. The inclusion of spatial, sensorial, and contextual issues into artistic approaches, and the emphasis upon the conceptual and processual nature of art, are some of the factors that constantly challenge her in her curatorial work and in her research-orientated writing. She’s also interested in exploring the diversity of current artistic practice and its associated aesthetic, formal and media-related issues, especially within the temporal and spatial art forms, and the artists’ moving image and sonic practices.
Currently Kivinen is the Head of exhibitions at the HAM Helsinki Art Museum (2022–). Her up-coming curatorial projects at HAM include Haegue Yang: Continuous Reenactments (2023, co-curated with S. Tuulikangas) and Helsinki Biennial 2025 with Curator Blanca de la Torre. Previously she has been Chief Curator for Collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki (2017–2022) and Curator for Temporary Exhibitions also at Kiasma (2003–2017). At Kiasma she curated the following exhibitions (a recent selection): 50 Hz: Mika Vainio (in collaboration with Rikke Lundgreen), 2020; Dry Joy: Iiu Susiraja, 2019; Coexistence – Human, Animal and Nature in Kiasma’s Collections (in collaboration with S. Hacklin & S. Oksanen), 2019; There and Back Again – Contemporary art from the Baltic Sea region (in collaboration with S. Hacklin), 2018; Second Shift: Pilvi Takala, 2018; Demonstrating Minds: Disagreements in Contemporary Art (in collaboration with P. Nyberg, M. Sakari & J-P. Vanhala), 2015; Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Alfredo Jaar (in collaboration with P. Siitari), 2014; Towards 2048: Erkki Kurenniemi, solo exhibition (in collaboration with L. Haapala & P. Rastas), 2013.
Her independent curatorial work includes numerous interdisciplinary exhibitions, most recently Fragile Times at Galerie im Körnerpark in Berlin (2020, with Dorothee Bienert) and Materiell Tanke at Varbergs Konsthall, Varberg, Sweden (2017). Since 2021 Kivinen is a board member of IKT – the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art.
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Latest releases from HAM Helsingin taidemuseo
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