PUBLICS is a new art organization, curatorial agency, dedicated library and reading room in Helsinki launching on December 9th. Its launch coordinates the opening of a new space with a series of public events in Vallila – a predominantly residential central-northern neighbourhood in the city of Helsinki, known for its industrial working class histories and, more recently, for its artistic communities. Vallila is also the location of the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki.
Under the artistic direction of curator Paul O’Neill, with program manager and curator Eliisa Suvanto, PUBLICS explores a ‘work together’ institutional model with multiple overlapping objectives, thematic strands and collaborations. PUBLICS is a constellation of practices, projects and productions. As such, PUBLICS proposes the term ‘Public’ as always plural – as a concept; as a group of people (imagined, actualized or real); and as a contested spatio-temporal location/discourse in the world.
The opening of PUBLICS coincides with the unveiling of its design identity, by international renowned collective design practice Julia (julia.uk.com), and with the initiation of its on-going project strands: PUBLICS’ Library; PUBLICS’ Talks; and PUBLICS’ Events and Performances.These initiatives will evolve in time and in parallel with the project’s longer-term curatorial programmes, PUBLICS’ Public Art Commissions.
PUBLICS develops out of Checkpoint Helsinki, a contemporary art initiative established in 2013. In its spirit, PUBLICS continues this organization’s commitment to critical social thinking, contemporary art and publicness.