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Artist selection for the 2023 M_itä? Biennale of Contemporary Art


Artists selected: Jaakko Autio, Baran Caginli, Disconnected Space Research Group (Jaakko Ruuska, Kati Korosuo, Timo Jokitalo, Hanna Koikkalainen and Pavel Rotts), August Joensalo, Nana & Felix, Katriina Rosavaara, Lebohang Tlali and Riitta Turunen & Outi Särkikoski.

The third M_itä? Biennale of Contemporary Art will be in held Joensuu from 13 May to 17 September 2023. In the spring of 2022, an open call for professional artists was launched and artists were invited to critically engage with the history, traditions and complex socio-political conditions that have shaped the region of Eastern Finland. Artists were also encouraged to consider the Biennale’s acronym and examine the concept of ‘what east?’

Eight artists or groups of artists were selected for the exhibition. Giovanna Esposito Yussif is the guest curator of the 2023 Biennale and will be working side by side with the curator team from the organizing institutions.


”I am very glad and humble for the reception and interest the M_itä? Biennale has gathered for its third edition. We received over 200 applications coming from an array of local and international artists with diverse backgrounds and practices. It was difficult to decide among so many strong and relevant applications. The selection process was enriching and an eye opening into the committed artistic practices in the region. I am happy that the outcome represents the unanimous decisions from the curatorial team and that it brings together artists from diverse generations and practices with very relevant questions for the location and the contemporary discourses. I look forward to continuing the process and being in active conversation with the artists and my co-curators in preparation for the opening in May 2023.”

Curator Giovanna Esposito Yussif


The M_itä? Biennale of Contemporary Art is held every two years in Eastern Finland. Its name is an acronym of the Finnish words mitä (what) and itä (east). It was launched in association with Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the art museums of Kuopio, Mikkeli and Joensuu, inviting guest curators for each new edition. The last biennales were held in Mikkeli 2021 and in Kuopio 2019. In addition to curator Giovanna Esposito Yussif, the curatorial team includes chief curators Pauliina Kaasalainen (Joensuu) and Marja Louni (Kuopio) and curator Paula Hyvönen (Mikkeli).


More information:
Pauliina Kaasalainen
Chief curator, Joensuu Art Museum Onni
pauliina.kaasalainen@joensuu.fi / tel. 050 341 9502


More information about Joensuu Art Museum (PDF)