WAM Turku City Art Museum in Finland calls for artists based in Nordic countries to apply for an exhibition period within the framework of an upcoming project titled Temporary Institute for Artistic Research into the Ways of Coexistence, running from December 12, 2021, through to September 18, 2022.

The Temporary Institute

The Temporary Institute is curated by Mikkel Elming inside the project space WAMx. The artist Gry Worre Hallberg will create the institute's physical framework.

The primary purpose of The Temporary Institute is to provide a space for a series of artistic studies of new ways of being and being together in the world. The exhibition programme of the temporary institute is arranged by this open call. 

Theoretical framework

The Temporary Institute is created in response to the current ecological, social, and biological crises. The institute will encourage artists to reflect on and investigate alternative ways of coexistence that may create a better world. These may be projects that collaboratively construct and test new possibilities for our coexistence, but also works of a more speculative nature, which explore new ecologies and forms of being and being together based on notions of possible futures.

An example of such an alternative is presented in the Sensuous Society Manifesto (http://sensuoussociety.org) which will stand as a theoretical inspiration for the institute. Applications must reflect on how their project will resonate with this manifesto, complying or challenging it.

Physical framework

Applications must reflect on how their project will unfold inside the given physical framework of the institute described below. Applications may suggest changes to the physical framework to create a better presentation of their project. 

The following description of the institute is illustrated in the pictures and the floor plan below.

The Institute will be covered in red. A red wall to wall carpet will span from the stair entrance and all the way through the institute. At the entrance the idea behind the institute, the manifesto, and the current project exhibited within the institute will be presented in wall texts and handouts. The institute will be covered in an immersive red drape backdrop dividing it into two parts: The Lab and The Report.  

The Lab is an empty red room. The projects accepted through this open call will mainly be unfolding in The Lab. As mentioned, the applicants are welcome to challenge this conception.

The Report will contain three display cases, one for each artist accepted through this open call. The participating artists must leave something behind in their display case to represent the process of their work - an aesthetic report of the artistic research done. 

By default, a soundscape will fill the institute (https://soundcloud.com/user-208979542/sisters-hope-soundscape-3). Applicants including sound in their project may suggest how that corresponds with the soundscape or suggest not using the soundscape during their exhibition period.

Economic framework

The chosen artists will receive:

  • an artist fee of 1500€
  • a trip to and accommodation in Turku during their stay

The artist may use the museum’s technical equipment and facilities, i.e., video projectors and media players, PA-systems, lighting, and ability to build fixtures to the installation. The installation will be carried out by professional museum technicians and the museum will pay expenses consequent. The installation period will be four days.

How do I apply?

Download and fill out the application form. 
Please send it as a pdf (no more than 25MB) to curator Jonni Saloluoma, jonni.saloluoma@turku.fi
Deadline for applications is October 24, 2021.

How will the application be assessed?

The project proposals will be assessed by WAM, Mikkel Elming, and Gry Worre Hallberg.
Applicants can expect an answer in the beginning of November.

The project proposals will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • how they relate to the framework of the institute,
  • how they involve an open-ended and experimental approach,
  • how they emphasize possible new paths for our coexistence,
  • whether they are realistic in relation to budgeted resources and time schedule.



What is WAMx?

WAMx is a process with the primary idea of annually inviting an international expert to plan an exhibition programme in co-operation with the museum. The co-operation seeks new themes and entities that discuss current phenomena from interesting artists. The mission is to create a high-quality exhibition programme at a fast tempo that include experimental and edgy contemporary art that incites discourse with its content.

The name WAMx refers to the aim of the operational concept, which is to create a junction, or a crossroads X, which brings together and creates new networks between art museums, curators, and artists. As a symbol, X also refers to the unknown. The unknown is an opportunity for actions that surpass the familiar boundaries, which, at its best, creates an arena for something unpredictable and, at the same time, enables the creation of something new. WAMx is an opportunity to experience and experiment as well as to see and think differently.

WAMx presents exhibitions from interesting and emerging international and Finnish artists. The expert outside museum’s organisation brings contacts, artist proposals and exhibition suggestions. As for WAM, it brings to the junction its local contacts and enables the expert to get acquainted with the vivid and versatile field of visual arts in Finland, primarily the Turku region.

For more information

For any questions about the call, please contact Jonni Saloluoma, jonni.saloluoma@turku.fi.
For any questions about the concept of The Temporary Institute, please contact curator Mikkel Elming, mikkel.elming@gmail.com.