Punk and classical music

At the beginning of 2012, London-based visual artist, cultural activist and pedagogue Oreet Ashery came to the Saari Residence to work on her new film Party for Freedom. During her residency, Ashery became acquainted with Finnish composer Timo-Juhani Kyllönen, who was also working at the Residence.
Oreet Ashery and Timo-Juhani Kyllönen in Helsinki.

Ashery refers to her work as an audiovisual album of moving images. The work explores representations of liberation, trash aesthetics and political ideas about nakedness. Ashery draws on far-right populist, anti-Islamic and anti-immigration discussions, which have been hot topics in Europe during the past few years. The theme and approach are typical of Ashery: she often uses performance art, moving-image, photography and objects in her work to explore issues such as culture, representations and questions regarding political action.

Party for Freedom is as much a work of music and sound as it is one of moving images. The work includes a soundtrack with compositions by Kyllönen and music by the punk band Woolf from London. In the work, one of Ashery’s intentions was to consider how the democratization of sound can function as an act of liberation. “Combining punk with experimental and classical music felt like the perfect way to do this,” explains Ashery.

The first version of Party for Freedom premiered in October 2012 as part of the Liverpool Biennial 2012 festival. In 2013, the work will be showcased in cities such as Copenhagen as well as London, and in October 2013 at the Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in Helsinki.

Oreet Ashery discusses the making of Party for Freedom with visual artist Minna L. Henrikson at the Photographic Gallery Hippolyte, watch video.