Saari Residence joins Perpetuum Mobile’s Artists-at-Risk platform

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Kone Foundation’s Saari Residence, which hosts artists and academics, is joining the Artists at Risk (AR) platform for visual art practitioners coordinated and curated by Perpetuum Mobile. The first pilot residency of three months in autumn 2017, will consist of two months at the Saari Residence in Mynämäki, and one month in Helsinki funded by the Saastamoinen Foundation. The first resident of the “AR-Saari Residence/Saastamoinen Foundation” will be selected by an international jury from the results of a Public Call being issued by AR in spring 2017.

AR-Residencies are primarily intended for persecuted professionals in the visual arts. These are practitioners whose freedom of expression is infringed upon, and in serious cases their life and liberty is at stake. Perpetuum Mobile (PM) has developed this model of so-called “AR-Safe Haven Residencies” since 2014, working in cooperation with the Helsinki International Artist Programme (HIAP). Since 2016, AR-Safe Haven Helsinki has been funded by the City of Helsinki.

This year, Perpetuum Mobile is expanding the AR platform to cities across Europe, including the AR-Safe Haven Berlin at Savvy Contemporary, AR-Safe Haven Athens in cooperation with the Athens Biennale, and AR-Residencies near Cambridge with Wysings Arts Centre and in Lecce, southern Italy, at the Ammirato Culture House.

“By hosting artists at risk at the Saari Residence, we also want to draw people’s attention to the increasing threat of violations of freedom of speech and expression,” says the executive director of the Saari Residence Hanna Nurminen. Her counterpart on the board of the Saastamoinen Foundation Marja Karttunen continues: “Building international safety networks for artists is highly important. It’s excellent for the Saastamoinen Foundation to be cooperating with Kone Foundation’s Saari Residence and other partners in the AR network.”

According to Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky, the co-founding directors of Perpetuum Mobile which runs Artists at Risk (AR), “Residencies of this type have been traditionally organized for writers and journalists. AR has opened the doors of residencies to visual art practitioners at risk, and the need is unfortunately on the rise. So Saari Residence/Saastamoinen Foundation joining the AR platform in Finland is an important development. We hope other residencies also recognize the urgency. Next to contemporary artists, we have hosted musicians and filmmakers, and the current political situation points to an increasing threat, across the spectrum.”

In 2016, AR-Safe Haven Helsinki was recognised with ArtHelsinki’s “Annual Art Act Award”, and Perpetuum Mobile’s pioneering work at Artists at Risk (AR) was honoured by the European Parliament with the 2016 “Civi Europeaeo Praemium” (European Citizen’s Prize). (in beta – soon to go live at the above address)

For further information:

Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky
Perpetuum Mobile ry
+358 440 965 103
[email protected]

AR-Saari Residence/Saastamoinen Foundation

Hanna Nurminen
Saari Residence
+358 2 431 4202
[email protected]

Marja Karttunen
Saastamoinen Foundation
+358 40 5555 159
[email protected]