Fine Art Students in X-OP-project

Story: Sari Tervaniemi, X-OP –project contact person in Art And Media

Mikko Keskiivari in Hagia Sofia
X-OP Festival, Event of the border areas of Europe
Art School Maa, with the head of the school Bo Karsten, organizes X-OP Festival. The festival is taking  place in Helsinki in November 2010. It is a Contemporary art festival (fine arts, performance art and experimental music). In this year there will be also other events by X-OP-net for example in Balkan area, which aims to give opportunity for Finnish artists to show their artworks abroad.

Katri Kainulainen, Bo Karsten, Kari Yli-Annala and Sami Maalas
 X-OP European Studies

A part of the festival is X-OP European Studies offered by Art School Maa. In this group there is six young artists among them Paula Lehtonen, Outi Yliviikari and Sami Maalas who graduated from TAMK and also some third year students for example Martta Tuomaala and Mikko Keskiivari.

X-OP European Studies offers a possibility to study what Europa represents – and what could be the role of an artist as an active participant in European society. In X-OP Festival the students curate artists to the event and also show their own projects that they have been working with during the studies.
The festival includes a seminar that offers a forum to discuss the possibilities of alternative art education. The new forms of art education often appear as an alternative to academic and hierarchic organizations. The seminar is organized in collaboration with the Finnisch Academy of Fine Arts, Theatre Academy Helsinki, Aalto University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences (Art and Media).
Istanbul Biennial 2009 curated by WHW-curator collective was the subject of the first part of the X-OP European Studies. Below you can find short  comments about Istanbul Biennial -section by Martta Tuomaala and Mikko Keskiivari.
X-OP is a gradually growing network of artists, researchers, operators, producers and cultural institutions with the aim to establish an European platform for the creation of art. With it’s places, spaces and it’s user accustomed technological infrastructure it fosters the mobility of the participants, while strengthening the Inter-European collaboration, common production and interdisciplinary approach to art.

The X-OP partner organizations include Kibla (SI) , Art School MAA (FI), Media in Motion (DE), Apartment Project (TR), Egon March Institute (SI), Instituto Politecnico de Tomar (PT), Transforming Freedom (AT), Muzej-Museo Lapidarium (HR), CIANT (CZ) and MOKS (EE).

Mikko Keskiivari and Martta Tuomaala:

Our trip to Istanbul in 4th - 8th of November 2009 was arranged as part of the X-OP (eXchange of art Operators and Producers) studies. Besides us there were five already graduated artists and producer Bo Karsten in our group.

During the four days we met local artists and X-OP students from other countries. Also the artists Canan Senol and Inci Furni presented their way of working and their artworks exhibited in the biennial. The difficult but significant position of female artists in Turkey played a major role in the conversations.

One of the goals of X-OP studies in Istanbul was to get acquainted with the biennial; to discuss about the artworks in theoretical level and to learn to understand the contents of different artworks. For us the artworks of biennial were strongly politically charged speaking out for the human rights and against the flaws of our society.
X-OP project and exhibition are part of  "TAF on Tour" and part of the Art project course.