Internationally acclaimed Canadian artist Stan Douglas to deliver keynote lecture in Helsinki in September 2024

Stan Douglas will give a lecture with the title The Black Mirror or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Photography on 18 September at Dance House Helsinki. Douglas’ lecture is the eighth event in the Saastamoinen Foundation Keynote series, which invites internationally notable figures in the arts to Finland.

Stan Douglas will visit Helsinki in September as a guest of Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts and Saastamoinen Foundation. The Saastamoinen Foundation Keynote lecture will be held on Wednesday, 18 September 2024, at 5 pm at the Dance House Helsinki. Douglas’ lecture is titled The Black Mirror or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Photography. The public will have the opportunity to view an approximately one-hour long screening of Douglas’ production preceding the lecture.

Stan Douglas is an internationally renowned Canadian visual artist living and working in Vancouver and Los Angeles. His work often explores complex issues of identity, history and culture, particularly in relation to colonialism, politics and social structures. Douglas’ art is known for challenging its viewers to think more deeply about social and cultural issues, often offering ambiguous perspectives.

His films and photographs have been featured in exhibitions internationally since the early 1980s, including at documenta IX, X and XI (1992, 1997, 2002) and in five Venice Biennales (1990, 2001, 2005, 2019 as well as in 2022, when he represented Canada). He received the prestigious Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2019 and the Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2021. He is currently the chair of the Graduate Art Program at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Douglas is the eighth Saastamoinen Foundation Keynote lecturer

Douglas’ visit in Helsinki is part of the Academy of Fine Arts’ and Saastamoinen Foundation’s programme launched in 2014 to foster dialogue between teaching in fine arts and the international art community. Speakers who are invited to the annual Saastamoinen Keynote events are internationally notable figures in the arts. Besides giving the lecture during his visit, Stan Douglas will meet with Academy of Fine Arts students and alumni as well as professionals in the Finnish art scene. 

Douglas’ lecture is the eighth guest lecture organised as part of the joint partnership programme. Last year, a thought-provoking keynote lecture titled Don’t Call Me Gaia. Notes For a Planetary Art was held bydistinguished Italian philosopher Emanuele Coccia. Other previous lecturers include winner of the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion prize 2022, British artist, professor and researcher Sonia Boyce, trailblazing art historian and curator Andrea Giunta, artist and cultural critic Martha Rosler, curator and exhibition architect Adam Szymczyk, artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset and global cultural advocate, curator Okwui Enwezor.

More information

Leena Kummu, communications specialist, Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts

Stan Douglas’ photo: Michael Courtney