Renée Green.

Resident Fellow Renée Green on her time in Suomenlinna

The Academy of Fine Arts' Resident Fellow Programme brings together scholars, curators and artists working in the field of contemporary art: to collaborate, think and create. The programme includes two to four residency periods arranged annually.

An artist, filmmaker and writer Renée Green spent the month of August in Suomenlinna. In Finland she continued working with the film-project ”Considering Cinematic Migrations – An Ongoing Research Project”. In relation to this project she gave a seminar at HIAP Gallery Augusta, Suomenlinna. In this interview Green summed up her thoughts about the stay as well as artist residencies in general.

What advantages are there for an artist to travel and work abroad?

– The title of my book of selected writings is Other Planes of There, so yes, I do think that for an artists to be exposed to a vast array of experiences and impressions is important. These might, or might not, involve travel, but most of my practice and thought is engaged with issues of translation, and for that, I had to travel.

How do you divide your time during residences between working intensively and getting to know the local art community?

– It is a combination of both. In this residency I continued gathering materials for a film project I initiated back in 2010 through the Contemporary Art Archipelago invitation. I also read and wrote. I did also engage with artists and thinkers I've been able to meet through the years. And then, I found the seminar hosted by the Academy of Fine Arts in Suomenlinna to be stimulating and a way to engaged with others living in Helsinki involved in art and thought.

Last time you visited the Academy of Fine Arts in 2012 you gave a lecture in the Wednesday Lecture series where you told that you have been filming in Turku Archipelago. Is there a special reason for you to be back in Finland now for a residency?

– One of the constants of my life and work has been the idea of returns: to locations, to ideas, to experiences. This was my fifth time in Finland, and I have to thank the Academy of Fine Arts for its sustained interest in engaging with my work, as it is the Academy's interest and kind invitations that have prompted these last visits.

During this visit you stayed and worked in the spaces of HIAP in Suomenlinna. Will the island be featured in your upcoming works?

– The process of producing a film is a circuitous one. In my last film, Begin Again, Begin Again, some materials shot in Finland and even Suomenlinna already were used, no matter if their affiliation with their particular location was erased, coded. It is challenging to predict what will come out of the materials I've been gathering so far, but most likely they will make their way into new productions, which I hope one day to share with you.

The Academy of Fine Arts' Residency Fellow Programme is implemented in co-operation with HIAP, Helsinki International Artist Programme. The Resident Fellow programme is supported by the Saastamoinen Foundation. Professor Branislav Dimitrijević will follow Renée Green at the HIAP residency. His visit is from September 15 to December 15, 2015.