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The NPT Biennale claimed its position as a leading contemporary art event

The New Performance Turku Biennale, held in Turku from September 5th to 10th, 2023, attracted a large audience of both local and international attendees. In total, the event drew in 7,000 spectators for full venues all around the city of Turku.

The performances during the Biennale week took the audience through various layers of the city. The Aura River was the common thread connecting many of the Biennale’s works, as a significant portion of the performances were either situated close to the river or in the river itself. In the harbor area, visitors were able to explore the evolving city, its history, and its future. In a performance set in a wastewater treatment plant, the audience delved into the world of fluids flowing through the city.

Some of the works also took the audience further from the city to contemplate wind power from the perspective of indigenous people and to listen to the deep underground song expressing concerns about the future of our planet. Through these works, urban space appeared as a tapestry of various societal, environmental, and existential questions, inviting the audience to share experiences together.

“The first New Performance Turku Biennale succeeded even better than we had dared to dream. The exceptionally high artistic quality of the works, active participation from the local audience, and the presence of an international professional audience together created an unforgettable biennial experience. New Performance Turku Biennale clearly established its position on the international festival scene and offered its audience performance art and other unconventional experiences in ways they will remember for a long time.

Based on audience feedback, many attendees found a performance during the week that provided them with one of their best or most moving art experiences in their lives. It’s hard to imagine better audience feedback,” says Leena Kela, the Artistic Director of the New Performance Turku Biennale.

A broad network of partners enabled exceptional collaboration with local performers, performance venues, communities, and companies.

In 2024, the activities will include artist residencies and collaborative events.

The next New Performance Turku Biennale will take place in the autumn of 2025.