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Barbaros Kayan, Serkan Taycan

Tumulus, © Serkan Taycan

Ecological Fallacy + Objects on Oil

Helsinki Photography Biennial (HPB14) (27 March–14 May) invited two artists from Turkey in 2014: Barbaros Kayan and Serkan Taycan. The biennial features contemporary art from Finland and beyond, and is organized every two years in the spring. HPB14 is produced by Union of Artist Photographers / Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in collaboration with The Finnish Museum of Photography. SAHA provided support for the production of the works by the artists.

In 2014, the biennial aims to examine causal relations regarding ecological issues. The curatorial framework of HPB14 has been developed by Istanbul-based curator and designer Basak Senova, Finnish Mustarinda Association, and Branko Franceschi (Zagreb). The publication for HPB14 doubles as a special issue of Mustarinda magazine and develops the theme of the biennial. These topics are also discussed in the HPB14 Seminar organized on 29 March.

Ecological Fallacy

Mary McIntyre, The-Construction of a Utopian Model, 2000.

In this context, Basak Senova's curatorial framework addresses fallacies of ecological knowledge and fosters collaborative connections between ecological data and photography-based archives. The Ecological Fallacy exhibition features 19 projects.

The title of the biennial, Ecological Fallacy, refers to the term ecological fallacy in statistics. It is a logical error or a mistaken assumption in the interpretation of statistical data. Derived from this analogy, the biennial questions analogous errors and assumptions, which are deliberately and systematically made by the ruling powers that violate the ecological balance of the world. In this context, Basak Senova's curatorial framework addresses fallacies of ecological knowledge and fosters collaborative connections between ecological data and photography-based archives. The biennial seeks correlated artistic approaches and perspectives as a way of producing and processing evident critical, social and cultural discourses on these fallacies. It serves as the suture that draws the accumulated data about fallacies on ecology into visual evidences and lens-based realities. The Ecological Fallacy exhibition features 19 projects.

The Ecological Fallacy exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography includes works from the following artists: Ali Cherri (Beirut/Paris), Daniel García Andújar (Barcelona), Hana Miletic (Zagreb/Brussels), Jawad Al Malhi (East Jerusalem), Jesper Just (New York), Mary McIntyre (Belfast), Olof Jarlbro (Helsingborg/Sofia), Raqs Media Collective (New Delhi), Serkan Taycan (Istanbul/Helsinki), Société Réaliste (Paris), and Willie Doherty (Donegal/Derry).

Branko Franceschi and Basak Senova co-curate a special section in Photographic Gallery Hippolyte which focuses on cultural and ideological critique. The artists include Braco Dimitrijević (Paris), Oliver Ressler (Vienna), Tomislav Gotovac (Zagreb) and Daniel García Andújar (Barcelona).

The exhibition at the L3 warehouse features works from Jawad Al Malhi (East Jerusalem), Marja Helander (Helsinki), Yane Calovski (Skopje) and Daniel García Andújar (Barcelona).

Tamas Dezso's (Budapest) works are exhibited at the Galleria U, Hungarian Cultural and Scientific Centre in Helsinki – Balassi Institute. Tuula Närhinen's (Helsinki) exhibition takes place in Helsinki University Main Library (Kaisa House).

In addition Barbaros Kayan's (Istanbul) project will be presented in various places around the Helsinki city center, for instance at the Helsinki Central Railway Station.

Objects on Oil

Objects on Oil brings to the forefront the fossil basis of human experience, economic activity, and industrialized societies more widely, and the breaks in our understanding related to this material foundation.


Jussi Kivi, Atmospheric Phenomena, 2013.
The Mustarinda Association has worked on the theme of the Helsinki Photography Biennial and built a section for the exhibition called Objects on Oil, which evaluates the changes in our concept of and relationship with nature from the viewpoints of archives, architecture, forest, and energy. Objects on Oil brings to the fore the fossil basis of human experience, economic activity, and industrialized societies more widely, and the breaks in our understanding related to this material foundation.

The causal relationships between human actions and nonhuman objects, which in everyday life have been blurred to near-invisibility, will almost inevitably move from the margins of public discussion to the centre of societal development through climate change and the dismantling of the fossil economy. The works in the biennial participate in the identifying and experiential rebuilding of these connections. 

Objects on Oil will be on show at The Finnish Museum of Photography and at the L3 warehouse in Jätkäsaari. It is in dialogue with the part of the Ecological Fallacy exhibition curated by Basak Senova. The Archive section of the exhibition features work by researcher of economic culture Paavo Järvensivu, researcher of literature Karoliina Lummaa, chief curator Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger, and curator Sofia Lahti, both at The Finnish Museum of Photography. The Architecture section features works by architect Martti Kalliala and writer Jenna Sutela, Forest by artists Guy Ben-Ner and Ilkka Halso—and Energy by visual artists Jussi Kivi, DXXXA D, Antti Majava, Nestori Syrjälä, and philosopher Tere Vadén.