Ghosts of Modernity (working title)
I would like to use the Saari Residence to work on the postproduction of Ghosts of Modernity, multi-screen moving image installation for which the material will be shot in Korea over the summer of 2017. The residency would allow me time and space to work with the material and conceptually prepare the editing, which will follow in Belgium. Idea is to edit the recordings in cumulative loops: every time a new loop starts, new information joins the existing loop. The installation deals with a specific phenomenon in Seoul, South Korea, where due to sudden urban density and city expansion, modernity relentlessly clashes into wild nature. The installation aims to reveal time and space at this merciless borderline. To research the specificities of these sites, I will spent time in situ and develop and perform a silent Walk Piece, a performative research format I have been working with since 2008. I take small groups of people for a 100 minute guided walk in complete silence along these sites. The Walk Piece enhances body awareness and presence to the locations where in a later fase, I’ll record time with a film crew.Next to the impressive physicality of these spaces, the work is also a reference to the political history of Korea. Due to the Japanese occupation, the devision of the country and a civil war until 1953, Korea was deprived of it’s ‘own’ modernisation which echoes in the development the country went through after putting itself on the global map with the 1988 Olympic Games.
The work aims to find a form to represent or reenact – in all its senses – the ‘performative knowledge’ of a spaces like the above: its tactile qualities, as much as its historical layers. Capturing a glimpse of time and space to thus embrace the global in its smallest detail.
Baran Caginli was born in Istanbul in 1990. The artist who lives and works in Ankara brings together different disciplines in his works.The framework of his works constitute topics related to identity issues such as ethnic discrimination, government / civil relations and related conflicts of power, forced migrants and forced disappearances. Under these topics, most objects and people his have included and use in his works are in the position of witness to an incident. Although these witnesses belong to local problems and realities, they also refer to problems and witnesses in different geographies and in different government. The artist who received the ESSL Art Prize in 2015 has been in various collections as well as projects at national and abroad.
During my stay at the Saari Residence I will be working on an immersive theatre piece. The idea for this work stems from dystopian science fiction concepts about human evolution and the future ahead of us. I am interested in human perseverance and our primitive will to survive, which often lies dormant under the despondency of a life without struggle. With this piece I want to examine how significant this fundamental will to survive is in today’s world, and its relationship with our growing determination to live forever in legacy, memory and success.
My core aims for the residency are to write and design this theatre piece, experimenting with different fields and mediums and staying open to novel possibilities. I plan to use the darkness of the Finnish winter, the stillness of the residence’s natural surroundings and my isolation from the familiar as inspiration for this project. The guiding backbone of this piece comes from my desire to tell a story and create a world that my audience can be completely immersed in.
During my stay at the Saari Residence, I will do the research for my next work which will be produced and presented in 2018 in Athens, Greece.
My plan is to collect web-based material on recent social events that have occurred in Greece. I will attempt to revisit, remember and recreate narratives related to these stories mixing reality with fiction. The research material will be translated and transformed into a choreographic score, conditions and rules concerning time and space, actions performed, gestures, etc. The composed score will be performed in a series of loops putting into question the narratives and dramaturgies produced within this mechanism. I am interested in exploring narratives that are imagined, experienced, shared, erased, forgotten, disrupted, repeated.
My choreographic practice focuses on the relations of form and structure to memory, experience, dramaturgy and meaning. I have been working a lot with structural elements of repetition, transformation, difference and exhaustion and movement ideas that respond to external stimuli, rules and constraints, impossible conditions, alternating spaces of tension and ease.
Valentina Karga, born in Chalkidiki, Greece, is an artist and architect based in Berlin. Valentina’s projects encourage engagement and participation, facilitate practices of commoning and are concerned with sustainability. Working across different media and inviting the public or community groups to complete the work, one can say that Valentina’s work lays somewhere between conceptual art, architecture and socially engaged practice. Sometimes, through dialogue and building prototypes in a DIY manner, they end up imagining alternatives for societal structures, such as economic and pedagogic institutions. They then put these self-proclaimed institutions and infrastructures into practice, so that they construct lived experiences of alternative conditions or courses of action. This is what she calls ‘Art as Simulation’. Valentina believes that Art as Simulation has the potential to free us from limited views on what is possible and, in this way, to expand our reality. In Saari, taking climate change as the starting point, she is working on a video essay which involves cases of institutions and practices that do not work any longer. She is trying to understand why we refuse to see that, and what is the next step after critique.
My work draws from history, mythology, folklore, family lore and popular culture. My work in progress, The 90th Birthday, is a graphic novel that moves between the past and present. On the eve of her 90th birthday, an elderly woman, Betty, recalls her childhood and adulthood through the twentieth century into the present while a young filmmaker records her biography on film. Her only wish for her birthday is to have her whole family together. Unfortunately, as her middle child goes through a divorce, the family isn’t exactly on speaking terms with each other.
Moving between Betty’s idyllic recollections of the past and interpretations of the present, and the reality of a family in conflict with each other, the two storylines move from Europe to the Canadian prairies in the early 20th century to the eastern coast of Canada. The 90th Birthday is a work of metafiction exploring immigration, family ties and women’s roles through the twentieth century to today. During my time at Saari, I’ll continue drawing the pages for this book and look forward to the company of the forests, sauna, lo ng nights and fellow residents.
Laura Ķeniņš is a Latvian-Canadian comic artist and writer. She studied printmaking and art history at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Halifax, Canada, and history at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Her graphic novel Steam Clean was published by Retrofit Comics in 2017 and her book Alien Beings was a 2017 Doug Wright Award nominee. Her short work has been published in kuš! comics, Kuti Magazine Truthout, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Matrix Magazine and others. As a journalist, she has written on arts and culture for CBC and other publications.
Born 1985 in Turku Finland. Since leaving home, destined to make the world a better place through circus arts. Graduated from Centre National des arts du Cirque (France) in 2007. A founding member of Finnish circus company -RaceHorseCompany in 2008. Have travelled around the world with the company’s ground breaking performance rusty road circus (2009) petit Mal (2010), SuperSunday (2014), Motosikai (2015). Rauli have moved recently towards directing and his first full length circus performance direction Nahka-Naama had premier in august 2017. Right now he is directing RHC’s new circus show UrboTek.
“My purpose is to continue my solo circus piece O’DD in the Saari Residence. The project started in 2012 and has been going on ever since into this day in small steps. 20 minutes work-in progress was shown in 2013 Subcase festival Sweden but was run into a ”dead end”. Now thoughts and methods have matured and it is time to take new angle in making of circus performance.
In the Saari Residence, I mainly write a full-length script for the solo show. From this script, I will make storyboard together with a graphic designer. Whole goal is to try a new way to create a circus piece. Idea into text, text into pictures, text and pictures into marketing and construction. After all funding, co-productions, plans, places are set the actual circus practice will start with the real equipment in the real environment. The final result is an autonomous circus spectacle.
An introduction to the project
O’DD is a contemporary circus solo for the future.
The performance oscillates in a transformation of visions, sounds, lights, surfaces and science fiction. It’s futuristic dream like approach leads us to the transient world of being human. Our physical and mental capabilities and vulnerabilities are questioned and tested in grand scale. What are we made of and we are we heading for?
In addition to a contemporary circus performance, O’DD is an architectural creation, a futuristic vision of the traditional circus tent, a white pavilion. The imaginative space made possible by architecture. The pavilion creates illusions and tricks of the light making it one of a kind performance stage.”
Dorota Gawęda (PL) and Eglė Kulbokaitė (LT) are an artist duo founded in 2013, living in Basel and Athens. In their work, they address feminist inspired theory and fiction, technology-driven emancipation and discursiveness of space. They are the founders of YOUNG GIRL READING GROUP (2013- ) and Agatha Valkyrie Ice (2014-). With YOUNG GIRL READING GROUP, Gawęda and Kulbokaitė investigate the act of reading as an intimate experience, holding the potentiality to become public performance through the “outlouding” of words. Agatha Valkyrie Ice is a multi-platform, participatory, self-performance project and enquiry that functions as an artistic strategy to explore parallels in identity and artistic production.
During their stay at the Saari Residence, the duo will focus their research on investigating the phenomenon of “freeportism” from the perspective of the avatar Agatha Valkyrie Ice.
Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė have recently exhibited their work at 13th Baltic Triennial at the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius; Kunsthalle Basel; Institute of Contemporary Art in London; Art Athina; SMK- National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen; 1.1, Basel; Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; SALTS, Basel; LISTE Performance Project; Berlin Biennale 9; CCS Bard, NY; Kunsthalle Zurich; Le Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris among others.
According to the French poststructuralist philosopher Jean Baudrillard, everyday life unfolds in a system of signs, a “car” for example implies “driving pleasure”, “progress”, or “independence”. Examining objects in this fashion has been an ongoing thread in my artistic practice since some years, and I’d like to use my time at the Saari Residence to produce a new video piece – a meditative reflection on the object “aircraft”. In addition, I am much looking forward to creative exchange with the other artists present.
David Muth is an artist, musician and programmer. Having grown up in Salzburg, Austria, he relocated to the UK to study at Middlesex University, where he received an MA in Digital Arts. He currently lives and works in London, Turku and Vienna.
Muth’s work has been shown on numerous occasions internationally, with venues and events including the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Montreal, the Kiasma Museum of Modern Art in Helsinki, Ars Electronica in Linz, ISEA2006 in San Jose, Le Cube in Paris, Montevideo in Amsterdam, Laboral in Gijón, SIGGRAPH2009 in New Orleans and the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid. He also teaches at Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art. Muth’s video pieces are represented by AV-arkki .
Nada Gambier (FI/BE), Thomas Kasebacher (AT) and Mark Etchells (UK) come together for The Voice of a City, a multi-disciplinary project in which they travel between worlds and times in an imaginative and reflective way.
Between April 2017 and February 2018 they visit the four corners of Europe (Georgia, Finland, Belgium/France and Greece) in search of stories, testimonies and observations on the current state of affairs. During their travels they engage in conversations with a diverse range of local inhabitants, together reflecting on such notions as belonging, change and wealth. These encounters and the immersion into specific local contexts, for up to a month at a time, prompts them to engage in a creative process where texts are written, images captured in the form of video, photography and drawing and sounds are collected, sounds that somehow transmit the nature of the places visited and the people met along the way.
Between the 14th and the 27th of August the artists will be in residency at the Saari Manor, conducting their research in the Southwest region of Finland, meeting, among others, a fisherman, a journalist and a priest.
In May 2018 the process will turn from research to creation whilst material is selected, fine-tuned, re-worked and put into the form of an exhibition, a performance and a publication that will go on tour in the spring and autumn of 2019.
Nada Gambier, Thomas Kasebacher and Mark Etchells work in the performing arts since many years.
In this project their love for writing, their hunger for spontaneity, their willingness to dive into the unknown and their excitement towards ordinary things and people, comes together. The three of them are known to navigate between disciplines (theater, dance, performance, visual arts) and together they have a colourful palette of projects and experiences in their baggage.
Nada Gambier studied contemporary dance and is based in Brussels. In 2015 she founded Nada & Co. that now produces her work (including this project).
Thomas Kasebacher studied comparative literature and performing arts. He is based in Vienna (AT).
Mark Etchells studied fisheries and ocean science with marine technology. He lives in Barnstaple, North Devon (UK).
5-28 April 2017, The Voice of a City-TBILISI (GE)
29 May-23 June 2017, The Voice of a City-EUROMETROPOLE REGION (BE/FR)
14-27 August 2017, The Voice of a City-SOUTHWEST OF FINLAND
Feb/March 2018, The Voice of a City- ATHENS (GR)
The Voice of a City is financially supported by Koneen Säätio, Buda Arts Center in Kortrijk and Action Scénique vzw in Belgium as well as the Flemish Ministry of Culture.
The project is also supported, in Belgium, by WpZimmer in Antwerp, Takt Dommelhof in Neerpelt and La Bellone in Brussels and abroad by Gallery Nectar in Tbilisi (GE), Experimental Stage (National Theater of Greece) in Athens (GR), Tanzhaus Zurich (CH), Le Vivat in Armentières (FR) and Le Phénix in Valenciennes (FR).
Queen Lear is King Lear by Shakespeare turned into a musical play en travesti. The tragedy, performed by five drag queens and directed by Francesco Micheli, has been renewed and re-written by the British playwright Claire Dowie and the Italian composer Enrico Melozzi.
Queen Lear is the new production by Nina’s Drag Queens. The show, written and performed in English, will debut in season 2018/2019. The company is currently looking for productive partners and venues, worldwide.
An elderly lady, who moved from Italy to UK in the 50’s and opened a little doll shop, is now facing the end of her business and of her life. Struggling with her physical decay, she is unable to give way to new generations, and to separate herself from her things, in spite of the efforts of her three daughters and of the loyal friend Mrs. Kent.
The Shakespearean themes are now associated to a contemporary, stark atmosphere, where castles become studio apartments, the moors are hospices, and the madness is Alzheimer’s disease. In this harsh world, the old “queen” has no place to go but a hospice and here her epic visions – such as knights, wars, and medieval kingdoms – come to life.
Queen Lear deals with some uncomfortable themes of our time, such as old age, illness and death, on the background of a generation with a hard legacy on his back, a generation of children who may never be fathers.
Nina’s Drag Queens is a group of actors and dancers who has found in the figure of the drag queen the best expression of their idea of theatre.
Born in 2007 at Teatro Ringhiera in Milan (Italy), Nina’s group was founded by Fabio Chiesa, under the artistic direction of Francesco Micheli. Its research is inspired by the drag queen aesthetics, combined with prose theatre. The first experiment of an en travesti version of a theatre classic dates back to 2012 with Cherry Garden, from Chekhov’s masterpiece The Cherry Orchard.
Nina’s Drag Queens’ theatre is made of songs, movies extracts and theatre plays performed in lip-sync, combined with live acting and choreographies. It’s a theatre that re-use existing materials and develops them in a new context, which overlaps genres. This theatre experiences the influences of cinema, pop culture, opera: here the showgirl and the diva coexist, Gloria Geynor’s repertoire and Giuseppe Verdi’s arias go hand in hand.
The drag queens usually perform as solo artists or as anchor-women and entertainers during cabaret and variety shows. Nina’s Drag Queens instead have always worked on a choral, group-based concept in a theatrical perspective. Their work resembles the clown’s: they wear a costume, a mask and sometimes border on ridiculous. As for the real clown, tough, a drag queen, as the group perceives it, not only makes the audience laugh, but also moves it.
During her residency time at SAARI Lucie Tuma will be working on a new piece titled THE WELL – SPRING COLLECTION (premiering fall 2018 at Gessnerallee Zurich). It’s a dance piece based on a series of 81 paintings by Jongil Choi (Seoul) that stroke a deep impression of wonder when she first encountered them.
Those paintings draw you in. Utmost absorption and an uncanny two-dimensional depth hovering above a surface that covers up an infinite number of dimensions. As there is no temporal necessity as to how your gaze is organized in painting, you may get a glimpse of getting it all at once – which is very closely related to losing it all, of course, on a cosmological level. Magic and an aesthetic shock proper, passing out the lineage of all kinds and variations of modernity. It doesn’t need to prove or establish itself nor exersize any kind of overwhelming rupture, cut or break no more. It’s so new, unknown, and at the same time completely ancient. Serendipity at large and splish splish splashhhh – it’s like having gazed into a waterfall without knowing how long for.
Rather than making a dance and a theatre piece about the series or her relation to it, the paintings are treated in their function as objects generating a particular gaze and attention. In order to produce this a-temporal absorption which may seem atypical for a time-based art form like dance yet has always been one of the core topics of Tuma’s work, there will be a thorough engagement with the materials and Choi’s practice of painting. The work will finally result in an overall spatial spell consisting of 81 dances carried out by a group of five dancers, a number of objects (textile and plastics both dry and liquid) and a soundtrack consisting both of spoken text, music quotes and (pre)recorded materials. The paintings themselves will never be shown.
THE WELL – SPRING COLLECTION is part of an independent structure initiated by Max-Philip Aschenbrenner that goes under the name Theory of the middle-aged Artist, a long-term endeavour that questions existing ways of working and institutionalized formats in the Arts by deeply engaging with a small number of artistic positions on the basis of their pro-ducing and making.
The Mechanical Animal Corporation is a theatre company based in Bristol, UK, led by Tom Bailey. Tom has performed and directed a range of theatre shows across the UK. Presently, he is artist in residence at University College London. The company is developing projects in Bristol, London, Finland and Egypt. www.mechanimal.co.uk.
Ghost Sonata is a new theatre project being developed in collaboration with Finnish actress Anna Korolainen. Anna is a Helsinki-based actress and a co-artistic director of a Nordic theatre company Spindrift Theatre. She is a multilingual physical performer who works in Finland, Iceland, UK and France. www.anna-korolainen.com, www.spindrifttheatre.com.
Ghost Sonata is a new devised theatre performance, inspired by a text by the Swedish playwright August Strindberg of the same title. Curious about the ‘naturalism’ theatre movement, of which Strindberg was a part, this project explores theatrical naturalism in the 21st century context of severe climatic change. Setting this new exploration in the melting Arctic, this production looks to find a new articulation for themes and metaphors in Strindberg’s text. The developing result is a theatre show in sonata form, containing an admixture of field recordings and Rachmaninov’s haunting symphony The Isle of the Dead.
Created by English and Finnish performers, this international project explores dialogues between Nordic and Anglo-saxon perceptions of the Arctic and ‘Arcticness’, in the context of climatic change. To date Ghost Sonata has been supported by The Kone Foundation, The Barbican Theatre London, and Samovarteatret in Norway.
The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein
With: Krista Vuori and Brogan Davison
Blurring the lines between live art, dance, theatre and fine art, The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein interrogates representations of female subjectivity, looking at ways in which social media and consumerism have redefined how we relate to the female body, one’s ‘true self’ and public shaming.
In this irreverent phenomenon of music, dance and ‘witch-bitch’ ritual, The Famous plunges into the ghostly underworld of popular culture, seeking, as she puts it, ‘the real me, the pure me, behind this soiled shroud of promiscuity.’
Pulling from the myth of Medusa, Nicki Minaj and her own legendary self(ie), The Famous examines pop culture’s take on the ‘female monster’. She reveals, ‘I’ll be ResurrecDEAD as your ultimate fantasy – a horny dead virgin.’ Repentance might just manifest from behind The Famous’ unearthly gaze, if she can put her slutty soul to rest…
Beware the horny ghost.
Notorious interrogates female monstrosity, the figure of the witch, its relation to the contemporary figure of the whore, and the cultural tendency to punish, vilify or redeem that figure. What is threatening about the figure of the whore, like the witch – and the nude female body on stage – is embodied agency.
Research and development for Notorious has been supported by The Barbican (London, UK), Arts Council England, PACT Zollverein (Essen, Germany) and Kone Foundation (Finland) and is being commissioned by Fierce Festival (Birmingham, UK) and the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (Brighton, UK).There is often a cultural attempt to seek the whore’s phantasmatic innocence, unmasking her as a helpless victim, in order to redeem her, but also to mitigate the threat she might pose. Equally, there is a tendency to vilify that figure, exposing her of her unsavoury ways, and, historically, condemning her to death. Whether through redemption or punishment, her agency is stripped, reducing her to the powerless figure misogynist culture requires her to be. This is particularly relevant in a contemporary cultural setting, in which popular culture, social media, and neoliberal consumerism have significantly redefined the ways in which we relate to the female body, the concept of ‘the real me’, or ‘one’s true self’, and public shaming.
While at the Saari Residence, The Famous, Vuori and Davison will be exploring witchy rituals, monstrous behavior, and redemptive deaths, allowing the environment of the Residence to give rise to fresh ideas. These witch-bitches will be everywhere – twerking in the forest, instagram-ing from the depths of the sea, and conversing in tongues with the local sheep.
Since 2010, The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein has developed a substantial body of work (Splat!, How to Become a Cupcake, How 2 Become 1, Lady Love, Cherry Pop, Women are Pathetic and How to be Amazing) presented in Live Art, Dance, and Theatre contexts including The Barbican (London, UK), SPILL Festival (London, UK), In Between Time Festival (Bristol, UK), Fierce Festival (Birmingham, UK), Duckie (London, UK), Fresh AiR (London, UK), The Basement (Brighton, UK), FEM Fest (Girona, Spain), and Abrons Art Center (New York, U.S.), gaining respect and notoriety within the Live Art world (‘Darling of the alternative performance scene’ – Time Out).
Her most prominent work to date, Splat!, commissioned by SPILL Festival of Performance, premiered as the opening of SPILL 2013 at The Barbican, London. It was named Time Out’s ‘Critic’s Choice in Dance’, one of Time Out’s ‘Must See Shows of 2013’, one of The Stage’s ‘Dance Picks of 2013’, and one of The Guardian’s ‘Theatre Picks’. A segment on Splat!, and The Famous’ wider practice, was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.
The Famous holds a PhD from Queen Mary, University of London, and has lectured at various universities, including Chelsea College of Art, Laban Conservatory of Dance, and Iceland Academy of Arts. She has published several articles and book chapters in academic and journalistic contexts.
Deng Lin / Yu Ning’s members are Yang Deng-Lin and Yang Yu-Ning. They are classmates in the study of Fine Arts and they have cooperated in some exhibitions. This year, they work in the Saari Residence together.
When I observe the environment around me, the materials or objects that attract me usually have the sticky and fragile texture, changing over time. They are often found in the artificial objects. In the past, I have tried to make these materials in a natural way that they could express themselves and let these materials live to show the glory of their final life. I wish I could adopt the same method or use different ways in material usage to create new artworks in the Saari Residence.
My artworks are usually composed by natural materials, such as beeswax, rice, and snake slough. During my residency, I wish to explore and introduce something special for my new project, especially elements like light or temperature, or maybe to place something outdoors and naturally shaped by time or other elements.
Restricted Portraits workgroup will examine its subjects through space and time. The portraits seek the frame of mind, mood and emotion of their targets. The protagonist decides what they do in the portrait, and the recording is done in complete privacy without outside viewers.
As a writer with a background in both science and theology, I use words to explore overlapping—and at times conflicting—views of the world. I draw from numerous disciplines in my art because I believe no single theoretical model can contain the complexity of lived reality, and I find that creative innovation arises from cross-collaboration. From this approach, central themes in my fiction emerge: generational interconnectivity, layered history, and environmental consciousness—in other words, interdependence across species, time, and place. I am especially interested in producing work that recognizes the deep unity beneath diversity of appearance and celebrates the connections that bind all things.
This is the case for my current work-in-progress, All Lines Converge, a multi-layered novel set in the far north. Composed of interlocking storylines that span from the 1940s to the near future, the literary novel is innovative for its temporal breadth, polyphonic perspectives, intertextual links, and multidisciplinary approach to examining concepts of global diversity. During my two month stay at the Saari Residence I will work intensely to make progress on my novel manuscript, with particular focus on the project’s historical aspects. I also look forward to allowing my natural surroundings and conversations with fellow residents to shape my thinking and inspire new directions in my work.
Lara Palmqvist received her B.A. in biology from St. Olaf College in the United States, and her M.Th. in religion in peace and conflict from Uppsala University in Sweden. Her writing has been honored by the Ox-Bow School of Art, Kimmel-Harding-Nelson Center for the Arts, Marble House Project, Anderson Center at Tower View, and Sozopol Fiction Seminars in Bulgaria. She is also the recipient of awards from the Jerome Foundation, Rotary International, and U.S. Fulbright Commission, through which she taught creative writing at the Ivan Franko National University in Ukraine.
“The landscape’s subject is very special. It doesn’t have politics, bad history or any intentions at all – just pure sustainability. Nature’s sustainability is unique because it doesn’t require any external maintenance – it is self-sustainable. All is needed – just not to disturb this process too much. But even if it is influenced somehow artificially, nature is a strong player in this struggle. I like to express how nature “absorbs” human’s constructed structures and non-sustainable trash, how it all becomes the part of the landscape. Nature which I paint is like an empty theater scene, but at the same time, there is a sense of movement and development which occurred in the past and is coming in the future.
During my stay in the Saari Residence, I will make a research of the local Nordic landscape. I will travel and investigate the natural surroundings and document the valuable insights by photography, sketches, drawings and finally summarise and crystallise it all by expressing on various scale canvas paintings which will come to the totally new series of “Finland landscape”.
Mykolé (b. 1987) studied at Vilnius Academy of Art and the National School of Fine Arts in Paris (ENSBA), where obtained the bachelor and Master degrees. One of the winners of “Young Painter Prize 2013”. Her solo exhibitions were held in Paris, Copenhagen, Vilnius (lived in those cities). Also numerous of group exhibitions, symposiums and plein-airs in different countries. In 2016 represented Lithuania at UNESCO art camp, Andorra.
This residence is exactly what I need, both as a human being and as a writer. It is an opportunity to detach from the everyday rat race, to go to the woods to write and meet new people. I do feel a little anxious. It is like I was participating in some kind of a study, going to a Big Brother house with cameras or to a summer camp. As you probably notice, I have not been to a residence before. I look forward to new encounters and coffee pots inadvertently left on in the common spaces. I hope I will gain new inspiration for my art from here but, perhaps most of all, I expect to find something I would otherwise never know to look for. At the beginning of the residency, my own project will be at a stage where I should start compiling a whole out of the raw material and drafts. The Saari Residence could be a gentle, bottomless pit where I could throw in all my material and thoughts and, ultimately, myself. If that doesn’t produce damn good text, I don’t know what will.
Susinukke Kosola, also titled anarchist lyric, is a Turku-based writer, publisher and literary arts director. His appearances have been seen on the cracking concrete slabs of Turku’s abandoned buildings as well as at London’s literary festivals. He has published two books, the first of which, .tik, has been recognised with the Silja Hiidenheimo memorial award, and the latter, Avaruuskissojen leikkikalu (Space Cats’ Toy) was nominated for the Finnish Broadcast Company’s Dancing Bear Award. He is also a founding member of the Turku-based Kolera collective.
For more than thirty years I have been involved in all possible activities around puppetry: I have been writing, teaching, directing, giving workshops for professionals, kids and amateurs, participating in art-therapy seminars, managing international festivals as a producer, and running devising laboratory processes. I have been working in Russia, Finland, Poland, Lithuania, Croatia, Estonia, UK, and France. Experienced and young puppeteers surround me all the time. Their thoughts are deep; there motivation is amazing; there ideas worth spreading. I feel like I have to find my way to keep this unique material and to share it with wider circle of people, not necessarily professional theatre makers. It is time to focus; it is time to formulate; it is time to write.
Puppet theatre directing is a very popular occupation nowadays. Not only puppeteers are dealing with animated objects – puppets crossed the borders of all art forms and can be seen in modern dance, cirque nouveau, musical, and even classical text-based theatre productions. Is there any specific knowledge and skills one has to possess before inviting a puppet to act on stage? Shortly, is there any specific in directing non-human actor?
There are no books or even decent articles written about the phenomenon of puppetry directing. Staging shows with puppets is obviously underrated, unexamined, undeformulated profession. It is a miracle. Nevertheless, there are rules and secrets one has to consider – is it possible to enunciate them?
For ten years I have been interviewing Alexey Lelyavsky – Belorussian Master of Puppetry. My hero is an artistic director of The Minsk State Puppet Theatre. He has been teaching puppetry in many European schools and directing puppet shows all over the world. He knows all the secrets of the profession. Puppetry is full of mysteries, but my interlocutor is a sort of Mr. anti -David Copperfield. He is positive that while creating miracles for the audience you must “dig up the solid ground”.
The Saari Residence provides me with desired privacy and needed isolation. It is “my island”, where I am planning to devote myself to a very pleasant process of searching for correct and precise words to explain tricky specifics of my profession. Here is time and space to be left alone and there is also chance to meet people to share your ideas with. I think that possibility to share your thoughts with stranger colleagues help you to understand your dear ideas much better – you always think of finding new words and new ways.
During the two months of residency in the Saari Residence my intension is to complete creation of three solo dance pieces inspired from one lied and two arias.
The first piece is a work in progress and a first prize award winning solo dance piece called Der Zwerg/The Dwarf, which is inspired by the Schubert’s lied called Der Zwerg, D.771 and the novel of Pär Lagerkvist called Dvärgen. In this two months period this solo will be given the last touches.
I will start creating the second solo piece during the first month of the residency period. The second solo is based on the Madam Butterfly opera and inspired from the life of Madam Butterfly, a Japanese geisha who marries a soldier from Unites States Navy and her sad story that her husband leaves and comes back after many years with a new American wife. I will contemplate on Oryantalism and Japonism and by having a feministic approach to the character; I intend to create moments in which Madam Butterfly takes her revenge. While doing it, a Japanese geisha image is planned to be transformed to a horror movie character image with long black hair till the heels, sewing a real big heart of a calf on to her white silk nightdress.
The third solo piece will be based on an opera by Oskar Merikanto called Pohjan Neiti (Maiden of the North). It is the first opera composed in Finnish language and it is known that it is inspired from the 19th-century work of epic poetry called Kalevala which is compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology. Since these three solo dance pieces and their creation process is the subject of my doctorate thesis, in addition to the times I’ll pass in the dance studio working on the pieces, my intension is to focus on writing my doctorate thesis during the residency.
I’m a Belgian filmmaker, working as a freelance animator, set decorator and prop maker for stopmotion series and short films.
I also make short animated films with children. At the ‘Anidox Residency’ in Denmark I made ‘Mr Sand’: an animated documentary about the dangers of early cinema.
At the Saari Residence, I want to take up the challenge of animating ice.
The snow covered world and nearby frozen sea will inspire me to do the visual resarch for a short experimental film called ‘Freeze frame’.
The film invites you to a subzero slumberland, where time passes differently and things captured in ice get reanimated.
When we take pictures, we freeze time and try to preserve things for eternal life. But even images are fragile.
Old celluloid starts to decay, like melting ice.
I examine the impact that the music of the indigenous peoples of Russia has on the way music is heard and perceived. Through playing the violin and composing, I endeavour to explore what archaic, memory-based music can bring to my own musicianship. During my residency, I plan to begin composing for the concerts included in my degree.
Archaic music hints that music does not necessarily have any certain direction or even a beginning or an end. Music may stop playing but it still continues. I make experiments in order to study music that is always “there”, flowing through our subconscious.
Pia Siirala has studied violin at the Sibelius Academy and the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and she is the concertmaster of the Ensemble XXI chamber orchestra. She has made collection trips to Sakhalin, Kamchatka and Chukotka in the Russian Far East where the archaic music traditions of indigenous peoples are still alive, and composed music based on these traditions. In autumn 2016, she enrolled in doctoral studies in the University of the Arts Helsinki, in the Folk Music Department of the Sibelius Academy.
I want to create works that show the world and the audience how people live in Iraq and other war zones. I use my works to tell how innocent people are killed for nothing.
Silence is essential for a conductor when learning new repertoire because one must hear every instrument separately and then collectively in the conductor’s score. To find such silence is a constant struggle in today’s world. I wish to use this residency to study and learn the repertoire for Ensemble XXI’s concerts in 2017. This will include the World Premiere of the Finnish composer, Pia Siirala’s composition, Ulita’s Walk, based on the songs of the indigenous Nivkh people of Sakhalin.
I am also translating my former Professor, the great Russian conductor, Gennady Rozhdestvensky’s book, Fingerings for Conductors (known in Russia as the ”Conductor’s Bible”) under his supervision. It is a practical guide to conducting all the symphonic works of Prokofiev and Shostakovich and the Ballets of Stravinsky.
The Irish conductor Lygia O’Riordan studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory as an orchestral conductor. During her studies, she founded the Chamber orchestra Ensemble XXI, with which she has toured throughout Russia, Europe, Australasia and the Americas and conducted several world premieres amongst which is Arvo Pärt’s Trisagion. Her recordings include many of the major works of the 20th century repertoire for string orchestra. Ensemble XXI also has a long history of reaching out to communities who for either geographical or financial reasons, have never had the opportunity to hear live classical music.
At the Saari Residence, Mäki intends to concentrate on writing two books. Underway he has his fourth collection of poems and a book of essays, continuing his doctorate thesis Darkness Visible—Essays on Art, Philosophy and Politics. The essay book will discuss the societal task of art, freedom of expression and its potential limits, the relationship between art and economy and between art and the climate change.
“In addition to concentrating on my literary work, I expect two things from the residency. First, I expect that the countryside surrounding the residence and wandering in it will be a great source of joy and inspiration for me. Second, I like the blind date aspect involved in the residence concept: I won’t know in advance which other scholars will be there with me at the same time. I believe it will be surprising, challenging and fun with them,” Mäki explains.
TEEMU MÄKI (1967–, born in Lapua, Finland) is an artist, director, writer and researcher. He is a Doctor of Fine Arts (Finnish Academy of Fine arts 2005). Since 1990 he has been an independent, freelancing artist, except for the years 2008–2013, when he was the Professor of Fine Arts in Aalto University.
Mäki describes his activities in the following way: I work in the fields of art, philosophy and politics by whatever means necessary. The results are usually some kind of visual art, literature, theatre, film or theory. For me art is the most flexible, versatile and holistic form of philosophy and politics.
I am a doctoral candidate at the Department of Social Research of the University of Helsinki. My project, titled ‘Securing the living – governance, materiality and understandings of life during biological emergencies’ aims at understanding how biological emergencies, such as pandemic threats or bioterrorist attacks, are governed in a global context. To do this, it looks at how such governance includes the creation of new knowledge, a definition of what is life and how such life is affected. During my stay at the Saari Residence I will be working on my thesis monograph. The objective is that, by the end of the stay, I will have a first draft from which to keep working and submit my thesis for defence towards the end of 2017.
The project is titled ”36 Scenes Or Their Traces”. It is experimental short film based on a biography of the author and made in a video essay genre. The approximate running time planned as around 20 minutes. The film is grounded on the art research in contemporary philosophy. The project as itself is a visualization of a personal story of some female protagonist in a light of what French contemporary philosopher Lyotard called “unrepresentable”. Under this philosophical category means human’s memories of some traumatic event which always remain objectively unrepresentable for (artistic) representation as well as for people’s articulation. According to the script idea, the author refers to the event of some violence act happened with the heroine a decade ago one August day in a sea-cost hotel of Koktebel, Crimea, former Ukrainian territory. 10 years later the heroine decides deliberately fall into the same reality, getting into the same August time and into the same place. She chronologically reproduces the situations and actions of that day and place there, trying to get a ”victory” over the memory of that place and time. She reenacted the mentioned event of her own using such artistic approach as estrangement (according to Victor Shklovsky), by this way leading to be released from the past.
The shooting of the film will be holding in Crimea (former Ukrainian territory).
My expectations for the residency period are, among some others: getting close with the Finnish independent art-film scene. I would like to get an access to a kind of film archive (experimental films, video art, independent feature films, art house films) and to watch the Finnish films of the past years as well as films made recently. By this kind of research i plan to get a general impression of the Finnish contemporary film scene and to get some useful notes for my own film practice. I plan this as a practitioner and as a theorist. Afterwards, it is always a chance to organize some screenings of the Finnish films in my countries (Ukraine and Russia) to make the Finnish film art more close to our audience.
Liza Babenko (1988, Ukraine) has been making experimental films as well as contemporary theatre plays since 2013. She has got the degree in history of arts and philosophy. For some years before film practicing she was working as an art and film critic and curator. In 2013 she directed a theatre performance in collaboration with New York based artist Anton Vidokle at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. Lately she has studied film directing at the Gotland Film Lab (Sweden). She was film director’s assistant of Svetlana Baskova (Russia) and Sarunas Bartas (Lithuania-France). For now Babenko is studying at the Moscow School Of New Cinema and working on her two short feature films.