Saari Residence


The first residents of the autumn at the Saari Residence

In September and October, the artists and researchers working at the Saari Residence in Mietoinen, Mynämäki include photography artist Gábor Arion Kudász (Hungary); artist, researcher and writer Aliisa Talja (Finland); artist, researcher and writer Dr Sumugan Sivanesan (Germany); visual artist and curator Sophie Deligiannaki (Greece/Finland) and interdisciplinary artist, performer and journalist Katriina Kettunen (Finland). We will continue to operate as a hybrid residency, and the artists working in the Saari Residence’s home residence are artist and filmmaker Oksana Kazmina (Ukraine) and author, poet, translator and editor Mauricio Montiel Figueiras (Mexico).

During their residency, visual artist and curator Sophie Deligiannaki will curate the Helsinki Open Waves (HOW) platform. HOW is a translingual, community-driven art platform. It aims to create space for all languages and to promote a more diverse society. At the Saari Residence, Deligiannaki will continue their work with the new curated section of HOW, which examines languages as mediators of collective memory and oral tradition. They will also work on their own artistic project, which involves exploring the universe of poetry and poets through poems, various other texts and works of sound and visual art.

At the Saari Residence’s home residence, film-maker Oksana Kazmina will be working on their project The Backstage Histories. For the past five years, they have been filming the lives of people in Kiev who belong to an alternative culture as they navigate their lives in various parts of the city and culture since the annexation of Crimea. Through the material, a story and an alternative history unfold, creating a new kind of shared experience of time and place.

Performance artist and journalist Katriina Kettunen will spend their time at the residence focusing on planning their new performance art work and artistic research project. The work examines transparency both symbolically and concretely, as well as the way constant interaction and openness has become an unchallenged ideal in our society. During their residency, Kettunen will also withdraw from the Internet and normal everyday life, surrendering theirselves to the silence that Saari Residence makes possible.

Photographer Gábor Arion Kudász will immerse theirself in a joint project with his 12-year-old child. The project will highlight the father-child relationship and nonverbal communication through photography, drawing, dance and other art forms that emerge through the collaboration. In 2012, Kudász completed a similar project with his eldest son, and it resulted in a visual dialogue between dreams and wishes. The artistic process of these projects is based on the challenges of fatherhood that recur at different times and when different personalities interact.

Author Mauricio Montiel Figueiras will be working at his home residence in Mexico, and during his residency he intends to do background research on his new novel. His historical novel “No Woman Is an Island” (working title) tells the story of Rachel Chiesley, Lady Grange. Lady Grange (1679–1745) was the wife of James Erskine, Lord Grange, a Scottish judge with Jacobite sympathies. The novel will examine their seven-year exile, which is associated with Jacobitism, in the remote and isolated Outer Hebrides from their point of view.

Artist and writer Sumugan Sivanesan will spend his time at the Saari Residence writing articles, editing video documentaries, producing new audio works and working on his project, which is funded by Kone Foundation. Fugitive radio is his artistic research project that carries out experiments on the radio as a method. The project includes workshops and events in Helsinki and online.

Aliisa Talja will be working with sourdough culture at the residence, baking and reflecting. Every sourdough culture has a unique microbiota, which gives the bread a distinctive flavor. Bakers have always protected their sourdough cultures because that is what makes bread particularly tasty. Sourdough baking involves many different chains, structures and practices of care. During their residency, Talja will examine the care relationship between sourdough culture and the baker, paying particular interest to the relationship between gender and care. Their work will include baking, performances and documenting their work. “By combining performance with baking with a sourdough culture, I will be examining the physical and functional information related to care and attention,” Talja explains.


Read more about our September and October residents