The first Biennale in Helsinki was attended by 145 thousand people, despite the pandemic

The mayor’s office of the Finnish capital is pleased with the first biennial of contemporary art, which took place on the island of Vallisaari in the Baltic Sea and attracted 145 thousand visitors, the director of the biennale Maya Tanninen-Mattila told.
The first Biennale of Contemporary Art in Finland was supposed to be held in 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic it was postponed to 2021 and took place from June 12 to September 26 on Vallisaari Island (until 1917 Alexander Island), where the Russian Emperor Alexander II built a military the fort and military fortifications – artillery batteries, powder magazines and barracks – became the venues for the Biennale. Entrance to the event was free, visitors only paid the cost of the ferry ticket.

“The Helsinki Biennale was a great success. We are very pleased with the number of visitors, especially given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions. I believe that the Biennale had a constructive meaning for Helsinki as a city. The meeting of contemporary art with nature and the sea was undoubtedly an exceptional and unique experience for many, ”Tanninen-Mattila said.

The event attracted a lot of attention from international media, the media in Sweden, Germany, Britain, Spain, USA, such international publications as Time, Financial Times, Forbes, Monocle, numerous specialized publications about art wrote about it.

The first Helsinki Biennale presented 41 artists.

Some of the works will be returned to the artists, some will be environmentally recycled for reuse of materials, the organizers said.

At the moment, the mayor’s office is finalizing the assessment of the effectiveness of the event, including from the point of view of environmental friendliness, sustainable development and economy, which will be announced at the end of this year.