CPR 2018: Dimming the Northern Lights

// Reykjavik, Tórshavn, Tromsø, Boden, Luleå, Hyrynsalmi, Helsinki
// August 2 - 27, 2018


Moving further away from the dominant capitals, our upcoming nomadic residency program: CPR 2018: Dimming the Northern Lights will offer curators the chance to explore remote spaces and times. Our sixth Core Program will visit a collection of art scenes with peculiar situations that will address the complex subject of integration. Social integration stands for the act of incorporating individuals from different groups into a society as equals, while behavioral integration is when an individual stands in harmony with the environment. CPR 2018: Dimming the Northern Lights will tackle these two sides of integration.

We will challenge ideas of social integration through the following questions: How do these distant, insular societies deal with integration? What is their relationship with their past? Are native communities fully integrated into the local art scene? How have small towns received and integrated the recent waves of refugees? To exam behavioral integration, we pose questions related to the individual and the environment: What are the local communities relationships with nature? How do these progressive societies integrate the issues of mining, fossil fuel, oil exploitation and weapon exports, with their dedication to sustainability and persistent recycling?

These are all complex, yet impending questions that will drive the group towards the main questions behind CPR 2018: Dimming the Northern Lights: Does integration really work? How are these two types of integration alive in the local art scenes? We will attempt to answer these questions during the four weeks traveling through Reykjavik, Tórshavn, Tromsø, Bonde, Luleå, Hyrynsalmi, and Helsinki.

// Tallinn, Stockholm, Oslo, Malmö, Copenhagen
// September 24 - October 18, 2017

Four capitals connected by salt deprived cold seas. On the one hand a geographic area that could be described as a corner of Europe, and on the other hand a region with a history of political and cultural extremes. Today, wealthy, less remote and with more crossbred cultures, Scandinavian and Baltic countries are in no way exempt from the global changes and conflicts of our time. Our hope is that curatorial residents will be equipped with unique knowledge about this scarcely populated region where one can be surrounded by forest but also gaze far into the distance. We hope to share both the endless woods and an archipelago where the sun has a protean relation to the skyline. We will primarily travel by boat and train. This will also allow us to visit the two major Nordic biennales, Momentum in Moss, Norway and GIBCA in Gothenburg, Sweden, as well as the young contemporary art biennial Photomonth in Tallinn.

While Estonia is one of Europe’s greenest countries, it also has the continent’s highest number of startups per capita, the most successful and well-known being Skype.  Linguistically the Estonian language is closely related to Finnish, as they both belong to the same Finno-Ugric language group.  Yet historical events in the 20th century have more closely tied Estonia to its southern neighbors Latvia and Lithuania, who also lost their freedom to Russia in the 1940s, regained their independence in the 1990s, and joined the European Union in the 2000s.
Tallinn has three major art institutions focused on contemporary art, as well as several nonprofit art spaces, initiatives, and galleries, which all help to create a compact but extremely vibrant art scene.  Tallinn’s central position is supported by the Estonian Academy of Arts, which is currently in the process of building a new home in the northern part of the city.  Because several of the major initiatives in the Estonian contemporary art world have been grassroots efforts for decades, the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center (ECADC) has taken the initiative to fundraise for the construction of a shared work and programming space for key contemporary art organizations, festivals, and biennials in Estonia.  The proposed venue in an old submarine factory on the Tallinn waterfront will open in 2019.

The political history and culture of the Scandinavian countries have many similarities, but Sweden often stands out in global estimations as one of the least conservative and religious countries in the world with the highest levels of tolerance and self-expression.  With some high profile names in the history of curating such as Pontus Hultén and Maria Lind the Swedish art scene is highly international. Curators of CPR will be introduced to influential art centres and a plethora of artistic practices, some of which address feminism, identity and others that work between art and science. We will see how the possibilities to produce art are linked to the political system and participants will become acquainted with the impact of cultural policies on artists, institutions and other artistic agents. 

Norway has strong historical links to Sweden and Denmark, all speaking very similar language and having belonged to joint and separate territories throughout the centuries. Norway became independent in 1905 and difference to Sweden it was occupied during the Second World War. Today Norway is a non-EU country and one of the wealthiest nations in the world since oil deposits was found in the late 60’s. Appreciated for it’s spectacular nature Norway is the home of the world’s larges population of Sami, indigenous people likewise populating Northern Sweden, Finland and Russia. Oslo has a vibrant artist-run and also international art scene and in recent years seen a massive transformation with spectacular architecture like Snøhetta´s opera house.

The Nordic Biennal of Contemporary Art Momentum
Besides visiting the Capital Oslo the curators will also be invited to the small city Moss, one hour south of the capital hosting the International Nordic biennial of contemporary art, Momentum. The 9th edition is curated by 5 Nordic curators and brings up the theme of alienation.

Gothenburg International Biennale of Contemporary Art
Curated by Nav Haq, GIBCA 2017 looks to address complex questions on the status of secularity today.

Öresund is a strait that forms the Swedish - Danish border and separates the Danish Island Sjælland from Skåne, the most southern region of Sweden. Since 2000 the Öresund Bridge connects the cities Copenhagen and Malmö, forming a joint labour market and possibilities for exchange. During our visit the curators of CPR will meet some of the most prominent art institutions and artists on both sides of the strait and learn how these to cities exists in proximity to each other and to the rest of the European continent.

Copenhagen -the capital of Denmark is the smallest of the Nordic countries- has also been nicknamed the capital of Scandinavia, battling with Stockholm for the touristic titling. The city is placed centrally in short proximity to other Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Norway, but also Island, Faroe Island. The country consists of a peninsula, Jutland surround by no less than 443 named islands.
Denmark is known for being a socially progressive culture as Denmark was the first country to introduce gay marriages and legalize pornography. The culture is very focused on equality both in term of the law and the social class systems. Denmark has a rich intellectual and artistic heritage. Today the art scene is characterized by new ambitions and international experiments from the city’s ‘kunsthalles’ and the artists run scene in parallel to the ironic and international status Louisiana Museum of Modern art. The visit to Copenhagen will include visits to non-art institutions to look at how the curatorial be embedded in historical sites and collections. The visit will also cover the artists run scene, where the independent curating takes place and look at ways in which this scene has flourished over time via self-organization.
Curators-in-Residence explored how the ideas that shape contemporary art practices today are formed and produced in this region before they move to larger cities for presentation and distribution. In concluding the program, Copenhagen will serve to evaluate its particular aesthetics and traditions in respect to the different visited cities. By choosing to finish in Denmark, a country with an egalitarian society and a political system well organized, CPR The Baltic Sea will attempt to evaluate how the visual arts are perceived in each of the visited cities, searching for traditional aesthetics that are transferred into contemporary art practices and modern expressions. It is a wide-ranging itinerary, with the objective of following an overview of different places of production around this Nordic Region.


February // Ciudad de México, Guadalajara and Oaxaca
Production Processes, from the Urban to the Rural

Over the course of the program, curators will investigate divergent forms of cultural production currently developing across Mexico. The facilitated research will take curators to institutions in Mexico City, the established center of contemporary art in Mexico, and regional sites of cultural transformation and experimentation in Guadalajara and Oaxaca. Mexico City, and its most influential institutions like Colección JUMEX and the MACO Art Fair, has long been internationally recognized as the locus of contemporary art in Mexico; now, regional actors are emerging across Mexico, developing in dialogue with Mexico City while also firmly rooting themselves as autonomous sites of production. One of these centers is the city of Guadalajara, the capital of the Northern State of Jalisco, known for traditional arts and colonial architecture. In recent years, Guadalajara has seen the emergence of a thriving contemporary art scene, supported by institutions like Arena México and Taller Mexicano de Gobelinos and drawing international audiences. Bi-national galleries, like Travesia 4, based in Guadalajara and Madrid, bypass Mexico City altogether. In Oaxaca, the decentralization of cultural spaces is generating experimental forms of artistic development.  The geographic isolation reflects a philosophical separation from the vortex of production in urban centers, providing an artistic retreat with a focus on collaboration and social commitment through art.
CPR: Mexico 2017 is an exploration of concurrent modes of production in sites across Mexico, from frenzied urban centers to intentionally remote retreats, giving curators-in-residence access to the artists, institutions, and publics that feed Mexico’s growing reputation as an international center of contemporary art.

September // Prague, Warsaw, and Kiev
Building Capitals, Finding Capital: Developing Projects across Prague, Warsaw, and Kiev

Participating Curators: Melissa Aguilar (Colombia), Rosanna del Solar (Peru), Susanne Ewerlöf (Sweden), Joseph Gergel (US/Nigeria), Emma Hazen (US), Pedro Portellano (Spain/Germany), Mariana Rodríguez Iglesias (Argentina), and Alessandra Troncone (Italy).

CPR 2016: Eastern Europe. Building Capitals, Finding Capital: Developing Projects across Prague, Warsaw, and Kiev, CPR’s third fully-funded research program, took place from September 5-21. Partners for CPR 2016: Eastern Europe included the Center for Contemporary Arts; Prague, Izolyatsia, Kiev; and AIR Laboratory at the CCA Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. 

In a globalized art world, artists must continuously reinvent their practices while also acknowledging available resources and the structures that make them accessible. With CPR’s 2016 Eastern European program, we hope to rigorously examine this landscape of funding for the arts in three cities: Kiev, Warsaw and Prague. The cities themselves share historical and economic connections, as well as a Soviet past that inflects their contemporary experience of governance and capitalism. Each city is the capital of its respective nation, and as such each is a vital cultural player in the construction of a new paradigm joining the post-Soviet experience with an integrated and complex European project. Despite these connections, each city has dealt with extremely different circumstances through its development. From questions of industrial privatization to censorship, national concerns affect and influence the resources devoted to the arts, as well as the character and motivations of those who support the arts.
CPR’s 2016 Eastern European program seeks to equip curatorial residents with a unique form of knowledge about the participating cities. Where do artists look for funding? How diverse is support? How do limited resources connect or isolate art practitioners? Who makes art possible, and why? Equipped with answers to these questions rather than a more traditional familiarity with the artists and the art worlds of each of these cities, the curatorial residents will investigate the range of connections inherent to funding structures and patron networks. By visualizing an art world positioned around resources, residents will have the opportunity to identify advantages and disadvantages of the systems. Additionally, the project seeks to ask what benefits are inferred in patron’s support. In essence, the question becomes less about who buys art, and more about what does art buy?
Clemens Poole 

Kiev offers a diverse and vibrant art scene—if you know where to look. With a scattered assortment of galleries ranging from official state enterprises to informal project and event spaces, the city boasts many formats for engaging Ukrainian contemporary art. As the nation experiences pivotal political and economic changes, funding for the arts has become increasingly limited. Artists and art institutions have nevertheless found inventive ways to activate the city. In addition to established spaces for exhibition, initiatives of the Kiev art scene often appear where least expected, creating an environment of fascinatingly rich and changing expressions.

Warsaw art scene is defined by art public art institutions and relatively young and very dynamic private galleries. This combination makes it a very vivid and interesting place where all the time new initiatives emerge, some of them to stay some to disappear or merge in something different. The city has three major art institutions focused on contemporary art, Warsaw central position is also set also by the Art Academy and many artists’ studios. Art market is not very strong locally that is why most of the commercial galleries focus on international curators, most of them moved to Warsaw from different Polish cities. However recently one could observe a new phenomenon – awave of anew independent art spaces, often artists’ run and self-funded. The change is slow but significant. Such projects were still lacking in the local art world which was relaying either on the institutional support or the art market. It is also important from the perspective of recent political situation, with the conservative government that contemporary artist will find independent places for exhibition and alternative models of creations. Not only of projects that may be politically charged but also of the works which are very experimental, ephemeral and non-collectible.

The Foundation and Center for Contemporary Art’s (est. 1992) ranks among the longest operating independent art centers in the Czech Republic. It has created a unique position on the local cultural scene, notably through: the traditional grant program that supports independent artistsґ projects and institutions, the organization of exhibitions (Jeleni Gallery focusing mainly on young emerging artists, projects in public space), education and documentation (the biggest database of the Czech contemporary art Artlist.cz and library) and the international residential program for curators, artists and art theoreticians. The FCCA’s activities extend beyond the Czech Republic. In the past its partnership with institutions such as P.S.1, ISCP, Res Artis and Art in General means that the FCCA has played a fundamental role in the formation and development of Czech contemporary visual art scene. 


May // Bogotá, Medellín, Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires
We are (not) one. Artists, Curators, Institutions and Diversity in Latin America

Participating Curators: iLiana Fokianaki (Greece), Rose Jepkorir Kiptum (Kenya), Karina Kottová (Czech Republic), Robert Leckie (UK), Gean Moreno (USA), Pablo José Ramírez de León (Guatemala), Fatos Üstek (Turkey), Nikita Yingqian Cai (China).

CPR 2016: South America / We are (not) one. Artists, Curators, Institutions and Diversity in Latin America, was organized in collaboration with El Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín (MAMM), arteBA Fundación in Buenos Aires, Centro de Documentación de Artes Visuales (CeDoc) and Fundación Artes Visuales Asociados in Santiago de Chile. CPR 2016: South America gave curators-in-residence a street-level introduction to the multifaceted trajectories occurring in Latin American artistic practice, production, and dissemination today, from institutions driving the recent transformation of the cultural scene in Medellín, to artists and curators generating alternative modes of collaboration in the absence of institutions in Buenos Aires.

CPR 2016: South America was possible thanks to the support and collaboration of the following institutions and individuals: Secretaría de Integración Federal y Cooperación Internacional, Ministerio de Cultura de la República Argentina; Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia;  arteBA Fundación, Buenos Aires; Arts and Theatre Institute, Prague; Carne, Bogotá; Centro de Documentación de Artes Visuales (CeDoc), Santiago de Chile; Centro Nave, Santiago de Chile; Fundación Artes Visuales Asociados (FAVA), Santiago de Chile; Fundación Iberoamericana de Finlandia, Buenos Aires; Instituto de Visión, Bogotá; Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín; Sokoloff + Associates LLC, New York; and Paul Birke, Luis Felipe Cordero, and Patricia Ready. 



October // Tallinn, Estonia & Helsinki, Finland

Participating Curators: Chang Qu (China), Dorota Michalska (Poland), Emily Butler (UK), Nerea Ubieto (Spain), Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield (UK), Kevser Guler (Turkey), Lia Zaaloff (United States), Nico Anklam (Germany), Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk (Netherlands), and Tainá Azeredo (Brazil). 

The art scene in Tallinn and Tartu is mostly represented by exhibits in non-profit spaces. With only one commercial gallery with international visibility, the current market is in the midst of a transition since the post-Soviet years up until capitalism, which conditions Estonia’s entry into the European Union. The training of artists and organizations is mostly related to the work carried out by the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center, directed by Karin Laansoo and Kadri Laas, as an incubator for ideas of the local community.
Activities in Tallinn included visits to the following artist studios: Jaanus Samma, who represented Estonia at the 56th Venice Biennial, Tanja Muravskaja, Marge Monko, Krista Mölder, Jaan Toomik, Tönis Saadoja, Marko Mäetamm, Kristi Kongi, Timo Toots, Flo Kaserau, Mihkel Ilus, Paul Kuimet, Liina Siib and Anu Vahtra. The event also featured discussions with local personalities such as Mart Kalm, rector of the Estonian Academy of Arts, Gregor Taul, director of the Kondas Art Center of Viljandi, Anders Härm director of the EKKM (Contemporary Art Museum Estonia), Kristel Raesaar the artistic director of Tallinn Photomonth, Kati Ilves and Eha Komissarov, curators of the KUMU Art Museum, Taaniel Raudsepp, director of the Tallinn Art Hall and curator Anneli Porri. 

In recent years, the Finnish contemporary art scene has gone through a profound renovation, with new initiatives and projects for the future: the Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) is on its way to be reopened after a complete renovation, Amos Anderson Art Museum is fully dedicated to planning its new building located in the heart of the city, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is developing the Guggenheim Helsinki. At the same time, artist initiatives and non-profit art spaces are becoming active players to modernize the artistic arena and its structures. Apart from focusing on artistic practices, CPR curators studied the different systems of financial support offered by the country, such as salaries and subsidies allocated for artistic practices and exhibitions.
In Helsinki, guided by Aura Seikkula and Anna Virtanen, activities began with a presentation of the HIAP residency program and a tour around the island of Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Curators visited local spaces and institutions such as SIC, Contemporary Art Space, Sorbus Galleria, Alkovi Galleria, the Finnish Society of Bio Art, Mustarinda artistic organization and Bio-research project, HAM (Helsinki Art Museum), and EMMA (Espoo Museum of Modern Art). They also visited local artist studios, the most relevant of which were Jukka Lehtinen, Minna Långström, Eero Yli-Vakkuri, and Jenna Sutela.