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12.6.–10.10.2021 The M_itä? Biennale of Contemporary Art

The M_itä? Biennale of Contemporary Art is a new contemporary art exhibition concept in Eastern Finland. It is an extensive exhibition project based on the cooperation between the Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the Art Museums of Kuopio, Mikkeli and Joensuu. The first M_itä? Biennale of Contemporary Art was organised at Kuopio Art Museum in 2019–2020. After Mikkeli’s 2021 biennale, the third one will be organised at Joensuu Art Museum in 2023. After Joensuu, the rotation starts again in Kuopio in 2025.

The M_itä? Biennale is based on the regional art exhibition tradition, but the intention is not merely to revive old practices. The idea of the biennale is curation based on cooperation, dialogue and mentoring with an aim to present slick contemporary exhibitions by highlighting professionally produced local art and artists. For the audience, the biennale offers a comprehensive spread of contemporary art from Eastern Finland. The biennale is a dynamic, topical exhibition concept which reforms and develops constantly in interaction with the local art museums, artist associations, artists and the public.

Mikkeli’s M_itä? Biennale of Contemporary Art wanted to find artwork proposals from artists in Southern and Northern Savo and in Northern Karelia under the theme the best possible world. The exhibition received proposals from 65 artists or teams of artists. The curator of the exhibition, the artist Jani Leinonen,

in cooperation with the curators of the participating museums, chose 12 artists/artist teams among the proposals for the Mikkeli biennale. The artwork proposals responded well to the exhibition curator Jani Leinonen’s challenge for the artists to imagine an unrestricted dream reality. Some of the artworks are exhibited in the urban environment.

The theme of the biennale is ever more topical right now when the future appears uncertain. As a counterbalance for the dystopian future scenarios, we long for a utopian dimension, a world in which problems have already been solved. Art in itself is invaluable and makes the world a better place. And the reverse is also true: art too needs utopias to function.


Maaherrankatu 18-20, kauppakeskus Akseli 2. krs, 50100 Mikkeli




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