PRESS RELEASE: Concreate Urban Art Festival fills old logistic center with urban art in Finland
May 23, 2021
Concreate Urban Art Festival, held now for the second time, took over Keran Hallit in the city of Espoo, Finland. Keran Hallit is a huge former logistics center currently operating as a space for temporary use for art, culture, sport and other free time activities. During the next few years, the halls will be demolished to make space for a new neighborhood.
During the first two weeks of April over 40 artists selected by open call worked to create a unique mixture of urban art to the halls. The art has spread from the inner yard of the halls to a former loading hall and office spaces.
The art complex is a mix of street art, murals, graffiti and other art forms. Artists have created art both on the enormous walls of the halls and in smaller office spaces. The temporary use allows the art to be bold and creative. Together with the murals painted in the area already last year, the festival has attracted a lot of visitors around Finland.
The art made during the festival varies from cheerful colorful murals to pieces taking a stand to social and political issues as well. One example of the latter is a work of Plan B who transformed one of the office rooms to Church of Putin. The Church gives religional meanings to myth, memes, texts and acts linked to Putin the Eternal President. The walls are painted with his sayings which get now new interpretations. The liturgy of Vladimir the Underpants Poisoner that is played non-stop in the background gives visitors the finishing touch of what does it mean to believe.
In addition to the paintings installations were also made during the festival. Behind one of them is a finnish artist Ahjotuli whose huge piece reflects the modernization of the world and the infiltration of technology into everyday life. The piece consists of wooden pieces and it spreads from the office space to the loading hall below.
The premises are open for public until the end of May after which they will work as a one-of-a-kind environment for events. All the tree spaces will be used as a place of music, art and other culture events. Event organizers can rent the premises free of charge. Thus Keran Hallit are giving a new kick start to the summer’s event season.
Because of COVID-19, almost all the artists of this year’s festival live in Finland. The travel restrictions and lack of changes to make art on the other hand encouraged many artist to apply to the festival and make their first murals or installations.
The first Concreate festival was organized in 2020 on the streets of Helsinki, in the district of Pasila, which has during the last few years turned into the biggest street art district of Finland. The plan is to make the festival in different locations around Finland and introduce art into new urban environments.
Behind Concrete Urban Art Festival is Helsinki Urban Art association and its project Kera-kollektiivi. Helsinki Urban Art introduces art into the urban environment and into people’s lives. It creates art that enlivens urban environments in Helsinki as well as in other cities in Finland and abroad. The association introduces new ways of using urban space, creates participatory urban culture and solves problems by means of art and activism.
Kera-kollektiivi works mainly in Keran Hallit where it has been actively involved in creating a new hub of urban culture into the halls. Keran Hallit consists of multiple operators among which Kera-kollektiivi represents art, music, events and experiments.
Concreate 2021 was organized in collaboration with Keran Hallit and the City of Espoo. The event is also sponsored by STO Finexter Oy, Molotow, Powerlift Finland Oy and Estonian Institute.