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University of the Arts Helsinki and Flow Festival present impressive arts program

The collaboration between Flow and the University of the Arts Helsinki continues for the second year running with an exceptionally broad arts offering.
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The collaboration between Flow and the University of the Arts Helsinki continues for the second year running with an exceptionally broad arts offering. This year’s arts theme is Embracing Futures, which plays with different future paths while presenting Flow visitors with a unique chance to get to know the thinking of up and coming artists. The Visual Artists of the Year Laura Gustafsson and Terike Haapoja feature as part of the program with Embrace Your Empathy! – a utopia located in the near future characterised by the equality between people and other animals.

The University of Arts again brings the Art Laboratory to Flow Festival to capture the experiential nature of art. It brings together interesting work exhibited for the weekend and performances that take over the space. Art will be even more visible and widespread at Flow, allowing visitors to be caught off guard by art in unexpected places. The theme of the year is Embracing Futures, and it lives up to its name by embracing future visions and providing an arena for new ideas with an emphasis on playful, multi-disciplinary and contrary content. This year the focus is on all three academies that make up the University of the Arts: the Academy of Fine Arts, the Sibelius Academy and the Theatre Academy.

All together the Flow area will feature the work of over 20 artists and art groups, who will exhibit astounding music and sound pieces, performances, video art, installations, a webcast radio station set up for the duration of the festival as well as a filmed performance that becomes a movie. The audience can also explore smells as intimate music performances and experiment with interactive sculpture instruments that double as benches.

Embrace Your Empathy!

The Visual Artist of the Year is a Flow tradition, allowing the chosen artist or artists to produce a large-scale commissioned work. In 2016 artists Laura Gustafsson’s and Terike Haapoja’s Embrace Your Empathy! features expansive media pieces that appropriate the visual aesthetics of advertising, while inviting festival visitors to a utopia of the near future. In it, public spaces are saturated with statements that reinforce togetherness and mutual acceptance – instead of ones focused on the abuse of nature and other people. The work is a part of the History of Others project – its first part, Museum of the History of Cattle was awarded with the Kiila prize of 2013. Gustafsson is a graduate of the Theatre Academy and Haapoja from both the Academy of Fine Arts and the Theatre Academy.
The University of Arts Helsinki is the main partner of Flow’s arts program, which has been curated by Suvi Lehtinen, Kira O’Reilly and Päivi Takala. The partnership also contributes to the children’s afternoon – more details on its program later this summer. The University of the Arts also participated in selecting artists for Flow’s experimental program, The Other Sound.

Read more about the art program here: http://www.flowfestival.com/en/arts/

Flow Festival is held in Helsinki's Suvilahti on August 12.–14.


Read here our reviews from Flow Festival 2014 and from Flow Festival 2015.

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