The tenth edition of the Helsinki Photography Festival, the oldest international photography event in Finland will take place in autumn 2005. Organised jointly by the Hippolyte Gallery and the British Council under the title to be continued…/jakuu… the Festival will celebrate both Finnish and British contemporary photography. Rather than offering a distanced overview, the festival intends to create a carefully tuned dialogue between widely varied artistic positions, accompanied by a lively discussion concerning photographic culture in the 21st century.

The main element of the Helsinki Photography Festival 2005 is an exhibition of works by 18 artists from Finland and the UK. The artists selected for the exhibition address fundamental questions concerning the medium, using photography, video, painting or installation. Their work reflects on the interplay between objectivity and subjectivity; on questions of the flatness and depth of the image; and on the temporal and narrative aspects of the photographic image. A shared interest in enriching photographic culture combined with a tendency to transgress national, linguistic and institutional boundaries links the work of all the selected artists.

The exhibition will take place at the Helsinki Kunsthalle (8 October – 6 November), Hippolyte Gallery (7 October – 6 November) and the Museum of Finnish Photography (7 October – 6 November). In addition to the exhibition, there will be a catalogue, video screenings, a seminar, a panel discussion on the role of photography magazines entitled A dying breed?, a reading room with a wide selection of photography publications, artists’ talks, an education programme and an artist’s residency with the Helsinki International Artists’ Programme (HIAP). The festival aims to offer different forums for lively interaction between artists and the public.

The title to be continued…/ jatkuu… suggests the end of an episode of a TV series, with a promise of something to follow and an expectation of new twists in the story – a combination of something familiar and safe; new and unexpected. The title also reflects the state of current debate within contemporary photography. Both in the UK and Finland, photographic practice is characterised by the return to the fundamental questions of photography. At the same time as artists are deliberating about these eternal issues, what becomes apparent is the impossibility of repeating the same old propositions, ideas and strategies. When pictured, the world always unfolds anew.

Artists confirmed at present are – Danny Treacy, Anne Hardy, Gareth McConnell, Idris Khan, Mark Lewis, Caroline McCarthy, Marion Coutts, Wood & Harrison, Gary Stevens, Simon Faithfull (UK). Pertti Kekarainen, Sanna Kannisto, Jari Silomaki, Elina Saloranta, Heli Hiltunen, Anu Suhonen, Sonja Suominen, Jyri Pitkänen (Finland).

Screening artists – Nooshin Farhid, Hiraki Sawa, Susan macWilliam, Ailbhe ni Bhriain (UK)

The festival is curated by Mika Elo (MA, photographer, theorist based in both Helsinki/Bremen) and Brett Rogers (Deputy Director and Head of Exhibitions, British Council, London). The project coordinators are Marjatta Tikkanen (Director, Photographic Gallery Hippolyte) and Kirsi Korhonen (Arts Manager, British Council, Finland). Marjatta Tikkanen is also the festival producer. Please note that the following should be used in all publicity materials regarding the project: The Helsinki Photography Festival 2005 is a joint initiative of the Hippolyte Gallery and the British Council.