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Old Models, New praxis – A curatorial approach in times of ecological emergency

Join us for a curator’s talk and discussion with international visiting curator Blanca de la Torre who discusses her research and art interests as appointed Head Curator of the Helsinki Biennial 2025 with Kati Kivinen (Head of exhibitions at HAM Museum, Helsinki), that focuses on ecology, collective action, environmental empowerment sustainable practices.

For this talk Blanca de la Torre explores curating in times of climate emergency – an approach that implies developing projects that are ecological in content, form, and attitude. By embracing artistic practices that are aligned with the sustainability discourses, we will hear more about potential ways to stimulate collective action, and a re-think of cultural processes that can encourage environmental empowerment. de la Torre will introduce some her most innovative methodologies, among them, a series of guidelines and sustainability decalogues created to apply socioecological practices throughout the life cycle of the projects.

To give context de la Torre surveys a selection of case studies from her own cultural praxis, to reconsider models like Biennials, drawing on a range of experience that includes; head curator of the 15 Cuenca Biennial (Ecuador), her current role as head curator (along with Kati Kivinen) of the Helsinki Biennial 2025 (Finland) and other experimental with curatorial forms in different Contemporary Art Museums like MoCAB in Belgrade, Serbia; CAAM in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; MACO in Oaxaca, Mexico or MUSAC in León, Spain.

This talk is presented at part of the new initiative IRELAND INVITES organised by IMMA, Hugh Lane Gallery and Culture Ireland.

About speaker

Blanca de la Torre
Blanca de la Torre is a PhD, curator, art historian and researcher whose professional work lies at the intersection of visual arts, cultural ecology, and sustainable creative practices. Her professional activity includes, in addition to curating exhibitions, artistic director of projects, seminars, workshops, curatorial residencies and international symposiums. She has published more than a hundred specialized essays in books, catalogues and magazines, and regularly participates in international conferences and symposiums on culture and sustainability.

She is Head Curator of the Helsinki Biennial 2025 with Kati Kivinen (Head of exhibitions at HAM Museum, Helsinki). She was also Chief Curator of the 15 International Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador, and artistic co-director of the Overview Effect Project at MoCAB Museum of Belgrade and Con los pies en la T(t)ierra at CAAM, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where she is also head of the Aula Sostenible. She has curated exhibitions developed for the Network of Cultural Centres of AECID in its different Latin American venues. In all the aforementioned projects she developed sustainability guidelines to reduce the ecological footprint.

From 2009 to 2014 she was chief curator for ARTIUM, the Museum-Center for Contemporary Art of the Basque Country (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain). She has since curated exhibitions at Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria; EFA, Elisabeth Foundation Project Space, New York; the Center for the Arts of Monterrey, Mexico; the Carrillo Gil Museum in Mexico City; NC-Arte Bogota, Colombia; LAZNIA Center for Contemporary Art, Gdansk, Poland, Alcalá 31, Madrid; CentroCentro, Madrid; NGMA, National Gallery, Delhi, India; 516 Contemporary Arts Museum Albuquerque, EEUU, and the MUSAC, Contemporary Art Museum of Castilla y León, among others.

About Helsinki Biennale

Helsinki Biennial 2025
Helsinki Biennial is an international art event that brings outstanding contemporary art to Helsinki’s archipelago nature. The next biennial will take place from 12 June to 21 September 2025 on Vallisaari Island, in Esplanadi Park, and at HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

In Helsinki Biennial 2025, the curators focus on non-human subjects. The head curators of the 2025 Helsinki Biennial, Blanca de la Torre and Kati Kivinen, have undertaken the challenging task of centring their work on non-human subjects. Nudging the focus away from human-centric perspectives creates space for others and aims to pinpoint more diverse ways of sensing and transmitting information. More details here


IMMA, Hugh Lane Gallery and Culture Ireland are collaborating on a 3-year pilot named IRELAND INVITES, aimed at showcasing Irish visual art to the international biennale circuit.

IRELAND INVITES seeks to enhance international exposure for Irish visual artists by hosting biennale curators to undertake visits to studio and art institutions in Ireland. During their visit curators will have the opportunity to enhance their understanding of contemporary art practices in Ireland availing of the curatorial expertise of IMMA, Hugh Lane Gallery and Culture Ireland, who will facilitate research and create bespoke hosted trips for each visiting curator.

More details here.