TO THE SQUARE 2 (TSQ2) is an art project focused on public space, radical politics and the art of protest that took over the central Lasipalatsi Square of Helsinki from 22–31 August, 2014. TSQ2 is curated by Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen of Perpetuum Mobilε and commissioned by Checkpoint Helsinki as part of the Helsinki Festival. The project brought together artists whose work involves practice as a form of resistance and who had been deeply involved in ‘the movements of the squares’ such as: Ammar Abo Bakr (Luxor/Cairo); Núria Güell (Barcelona), Khaled Jarrar (Ramallah); Vladan Jeremić & Rena Rädle (Belgrade); Nikolay Oleynikov (Nizhny Novgorod/Moscow); Raumlabor (Berlin); ZIP Group (Krasnodar). The central question of the project is: what would it take for people to go TO THE SQUARE 2 – that is, to take to the streets again? Read more.
During the festival I was invited to contribute to the first issue of THE SQUARE, the newspaper accompanying TSQ2, edited by Ivor Stodolsky; designed by Tzortzis Rallis (Occupied Times); and including art by Ganzeer, Federico Geller, Vladan Jeremić & Rena Rädle and articles by Michel Bauwens, Nika Dubrovsky/Feminist Pencil, Grey Violet (aka Maria Shtern), Núria Güell, G.U.L.F., Noah Fischer/Occupy Museums, Teivo Teivainen, Baruch Gottlieb/Telekommunisten and Nadya Tolokno (Tolokonnikova) of Zona Prava/Pussy Riot
We also led a practical poster workshop as a research experiment aiming to engage the audience and work with them in using slogans and symbols to express concerns and anger at the current socio-political and economic situation. An instant stencil-printing area was set up to enable participants to produce messages worked into a visual manifestation that communicated on Lasipalatsi Square.
For ten days TSQ2 formed an important space in the centre of Helsinki to talk about political art and the future of protest culture. It is significant to open such dialectic processes onto the modes of cultural production emerging from protest movements in order to comprehend their role within a political context.