Pia Bartsch & villagers from the Asemanseutu area: RoKoKoo Grunge Caramel (2013)

The Well also means encounters with the local residents. All along, the aim of the Saari Residence for artists and researchers was to promote interaction between the residence and the surrounding community. From the perspective of the concept of the artists’ residence, it is natural to use art for the dialogue. This is why a community artist has already been hired twice for the residence. After Nina Rantala, Pia Bartsch has held the position since 2012. In addition to Rantala and Bartsch, numerous residence guests have worked with the local community in various community art projects. In 2013, the Saari Residence community artist Pia Bartsch did the RoKoKoo Grunge Caramel project with the villagers of the Asemanseutu area.

The local village association in Mynämäki was preparing an art festival for the autumn of 2013. The festival was part of a European project in collaboration with two art associations in France, Chambre d’eau and Scènes Obliques. This is what inspired us to do something ‘French’.

Pia Bartsch talks about suddenly remembering the living pictures, ”tableaux vivants”. ”Tableau vivant” is a performance in which the participants attempt to imitate a famous painting or sculpture by staying completely still. The method was originally developed by governess Madame de Genlis, who wanted to support and enliven her pupils’ understanding of what they were learning.

The idea was to make RoKoKoo Grunge Caramel a slightly rougher and more modern interpretation. We decided that all the materials would be bought from flea markets. We chose candy-like shades of pink, turquoise and blueish-grey as our colour scheme. We made jewellery out of artificial flowers and fruit and high wigs of sheep’s wool. And we had white make up, of course, with beauty spots. It’s not too much, is it?

The following people participated in RoKoKoo Grunge Caramel: Aino and Minna Hautio, Lasse T. Hurme, Pirkko Huti, Irja Keiski-Salonen, Liisa Koivisto, Kari Mäkelä, Tauno Perus and Helka Salonen as well as musicians Mikko Leistola (mandolin, vocals), Peter Lumme (guitar, vocals) and Johanna Schwela (violin).