Cosmic Ecology: Reimagined Futures, Rediscovered Pasts

  • Andréa Stanislav, "Moon to Mars", Construction #1, 2018 12” x 12”, hand cut digitally altered photos and black velvet on archival board
    1/2 | Andréa Stanislav, "Moon to Mars", Construction #1, 2018 12” x 12”, hand cut digitally altered photos and black velvet on archival board
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Katri Valan Puisto, Sörnäinen, Helsinki
09.06.2019 - 17:00

Performative discussion
Participants: Andréa Stanislav, Axel Straschnoy, Mika Javala
Curator/moderator: Maria Veits

Part of the Shelter Festival 
June 9, 2019, 17 - 18.30

The discussion "Cosmic Ecology: reimagined futures, rediscovered pasts’’ is instigated by the returning space race and the impact it has had on the environmental, political, economic, and social climate in historical perspective and contemporary context. We will discuss alternative, non-official and silenced narratives connected to the topic of the space and will explore various artistic formats of presenting counternarratives about the cosmos from female, ethnic, racial and ecological perspectives.

Artist Andréa Stanislav in her ongoing projects often focuses on underrepresented female legacy in the official historical narrative about the space in the USSR and the USA and pays tribute to female  cosmonauts whose names get much less mentioning that those of their male colleagues. Axel Straschnoy’s work revolves around the Finnish Space program that dates back to the Сold War but was never realized fully. The president if the Finnisg Austronautical Society Mika Javala will address the history and contemporary context of the Society and will also explain the impact of different space programs and future plans on the envionmental conditions of our planet. Maria Veits will speak about the projects by artists whose works imagine alternative scenarios of the futures or explore potentiality of the past through the prism of cosmos (Yevgeniy Fiks, Larissa Sansour, Anawana Haloba and Halil Altindere). Addressing the events of the past, the discussion reflects upon the contemporary political processes including migration and new strategies of exile, feminist movements and postcolonial discourse of reclaiming the past and the future.

Presenting multiple narratives about space conquest and displaying how they have always been affected by ruling ideologies, political visions and dominant social lenses, the discussion  will become a platform for discovering a variety of counterfuturisms and temporalities that offers artistic ways of reclaiming displaced voices and narratives about shared past and future possibilities, considering the current state of political and environmental affairs.

The discussion will take place as a part of the 2nd edition of the Shelter Festival, an international 3-day laboratory for artists, curators, performers, and educators who are invited to comprehend the "shelter" in all its hypostases, forms and manifestations. The Festival will be conducted in the space of a former bunker built in Helsinki during the Cold war, that remains in the city as a memory of the confrontation between the East and the West and the position and role of Finland in this long-term political conflict. The Shelter has been redesigned into the Space for Free Arts / Vapaan Taiteen Tila under the auspices of the University of the Arts Helsinki and is a regular site for artistic experiments.

Andréa Stanislav is based in New York City, NY and Bloomington, IN, USA. Her hybrid practice spans sculpture, multimedia installation, and public art. She received an MFA from Alfred University, New York in 1997; and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1990.мHer work has been exhibited internationally at museums, contemporary art centers, galleries, biennials, site-specific public locations and art fairs. Stanislav’s work has also has been featured and exhibited at: CYLAND, St. Petersburg, RU; Kuryokhin Center for Modern Art, St. Petersburg, RU; The Museum of Non-Conformist Art, St. Petersburg, RU; Smack Mellon, New York City, USA; The 2018 Art Ii Biennial, Ii Finland; The Museum of the Defense and Siege of Leningrad, St. Petersburg, RU; The 5th Moscow Biennial, Moscow, RU; Fieldgate Gallery, London, UK; Al Sabah Gallery, Kuwait City, Kuwait; Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland; Socrates Sculpture Park, New York City, USA; Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Wilmington, USA; The Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul, USA; Plains Art Museum, Fargo, USA; The John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI, USA; Kentucky Museum of Arts and Craft, Louisville, USA; Dumbo Arts Center, New York City USA; Catalyst Arts, Belfast Northern Ireland, Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York City, USA; Melissa Morgan Gallery, Palm Desert, CA, USA.

Axel Straschnoy is a visual artist born in Buenos Aires, based in Helsinki. His long-term and research focused projects include Kilpisjärvellä (2011-12) a planetarium film on exploration in northern Lapland under the Northern Lights (Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Mirta Demare Gallery, Rotterdam), La Figure de la T erre (2014) a short film based on the book The Figure of the Earth by 18th century French mathematician and explorer Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis (Galería del Infinito, Buenos Aires; Museo del Cine, Buenos Aires), and the lecture-performance series, N otes on the Double Agent (2013-ongoing). For N eomylodon Listai Ameghino (2015), he has followed the Neomylodon’s trail back to its cave in Last Hope Sound, Southern Chilean Patagonia, and is in the midst of a multi-part, traveling exhibition to bring the Neomylodon's remains back together one hundred and twenty years since its discovery (Galleria Augusta, Helsinki; Evolutionsmuseet, Uppsala; Inter Arts Center, Malmö). The Detective (2017), a VR film commissioned by Kiasma for ARS17 on the way virtual reality changes our perception of art and the world, can be watched at the exhibition’s online platform. 

Mika Jalava is the President of the Finnish Astronautical Society, a space enthusiast and a rocketeer. He dedicates much of his free time to observation of the practical phenomena resulting from the gas thermodynamics of deflagration and controlled oxidization of solid propellants. He is scientist also by trade, although his work is more down to earth than his hobbies. He will be defending his doctoral dissertation in the field of water resources and global food security this autumn.