Residency guests 2018

Helsingin Feministinen Salaseura

Introduction coming soon.

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Anna Breu & Samet Yilmaz

Plasticine, paper, Gute Laune’, Anna Breu & Samet Yilmaz, ideation workshop April 2018, Berlin

Collectives Anna Breu and Samet Yilmaz meet each other under the sea, where sound is muted and mermaids rule. During the residency they work together with an aquatic children’s choir and a well trained crab to compose a song to be performed live on the wetland.

Anna Breu is an artists’ collective founded in 2013. Its members are Antti Jussila, Jari Kallio, Jari Suominen and Sakari Tervo. Anna Breu’s work has dealt with time travelling, Kalevala, the myth of Atlantis, medieval tales and the paintings of Rembrandt and Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Anna Breu typically breaks down the foundations of its works and then reforms them using genre fiction.

The collective Samet Yilmaz (formerly known as k.i.Beyoncé) consists of the members Susan Kooi, Lukas Hoffmann, Lot Meijers, and Nikki Oosterveen. They started out in an artspace, hosted in a former snackbar with a flooded basement in Amsterdam. In the meantime, after dismissing their previous name, they have undergone a radical image change. Regardless of the name, they see themselves as a group that developed a way of being in the art world.

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Mari P. Tervo & Susanna Kiiski

Introduction coming soon.

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Ripple/ Kare

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Webcoms united

Introduction coming soon.

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Shanzy Subzwari & Rabeea Bilwani

Log kya kaheinge? Is an Urdu term, roughly translated in English as ‘ What will people think?’, referring to the general attitude of ‘giving a damn’ about other peoples opinions. These ‘other people’, refers to the rest of society who may have little to do with our lives, but whose opinion will inadvertently effect our decisions, as is common in Pakistan (and South Asia) at the cost of our own happiness.

While this phenomenon applies to men too, as females Rabeea and I have experienced it firsthand. The term Log kya kaheinge? defines our career choices, our behavior, the way we speak, live our lives, and think or perceive the world around us. It stunts our experience in this world, making us believe we need to fit into pre-designed boxes of what a ‘perfect’ female is, where being unusual or unique is most often considered a disability and innovations are considered threatening, especially to the male gender and prospective ‘mothers in law’ when it comes to ‘approving’ their sons wives.

In our practice, Rabeea and I comment on society and how it works, either on our own struggle with ‘fitting in’ or critiquing societal perceptions and societal events on a larger scale. Working with audio, video, objects and drawing to comment on our ordeals as females living in Pakistan, with pieces especially created in the SAARI Residency space, we would like to create a series of videos and/or drawings in collaboration with each other and the people or communities we interact with at SAARI.

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Romantic Melting Pot

We would like the opportunity to examine the similarity of childhood games and fairytales, especially black goat myth (Finish Santa) in collaboration between a Finnish rapper (Junnu Savolainen), a Korean performance artist (Hyunji Park) and puppet artist (Hwang Suyeon), an American performance artist (Nathaniel Hendrickson) and short filmmaker (Christopher Watkins) and an Italian interventionist artist (Gianluigi Biagini). Inspired by midsummer celebrations, Jack Smith’s film Normal Love, and our own artistic practices, we will come together to form a collective assemblage, combining these tales, and games to create one unique story to be made into a short film and a collective performance at the conclusion of the Saari Residence.

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Group of 8

At Saari, we will begin the preparatory work on LINNA: Island of Sorrows, which was born through discussion and artistic exchange during our time in residence at the Saari Residence in 2016. This large-scale, multifaceted experiential art event will comprise multiple concurrent component projects.

LINNA explores Suomenlinna as a physical and metaphorical space that has colonised and been colonised, in which the colonisers (Sweden, Russia) have established their hegemony, and where the colonised (i.e. prisoners, dissidents, etc.) have been imprisoned. Thus, we explore the line between public/private, past/future, inside/outside and the place we occupy on this continuum. The project is our memorial to the victims of strife past and present, and our vision for humanity’s unified future.

The core team (Serena Chalker, Alexis Diamond, Marjukka Erälinna, with Ana Mejia Macmaster and Hilja Roivainen) will use the Saari Residence to plan the following elements of LINNA:

  • Researching and investigating the background, personal histories and untold stories of the Finnish Civil War and other key events in Suomenlinna Island’s history, in collaboration with researcher Ilkka Jokipii, who will be joining us at Saari.
  • Constructing the framework for individual and collective works within LINNA
  • Developing the design and installation plan of the Island of Sorrows and associated community workshops through consultations with Saari Community Artist Pia Bartsch.

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Strawberry Jam

Our group consists of Petar Mitric, scriptwriter/producer and PhD fellow at the Film Studies Department of the University of Copenhagen, and Belgrade-based visual artist Bojan Radojcic.

It is Petar’s film script “Strawberry Jam” that put us together. The main character in the script is visual artist whose newest artwork is a symbolic nexus in the film’s story. Bojan Radojcic’s role in the project is to create that artwork that should appear in the film.

The main story of the script takes place in 1992, but it is told from the present moment. The main protagonist is a Copenhagen-based visual artist who exhibits his artwork inspired by his teenage years that he spent on the border between Bosnia and Serbia during the Yugoslav war (1992-1995). The main character is settled-down in Copenhagen now. Twenty-two years ago, he was a refugee. But, he is still in the state of a constant flux. He managed to escape one place, but he will never belong somewhere else again. The solitude with which he left his home country is the solitude that will follow him for the rest of his life.

The Saari Residence provided us with a possibility to spend some days together, since we live in two different countries, in order to be able to come up with the final idea for the artwork to be used in the film. By the end of the residency period we managed to agree on how the artwork will look like and we even started making it.


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The Olento Collective

The Olento Collective consists of a small team of artists and creative individuals dedicated to the development of Olento. It is our ambition to produce an artificial intelligence (Olento) capable of learning affective information via a modicum of multi-modal information streams, with an intent to deploy iterations of it in environments ranging from academic to artistic. In  the Saari Residence Olento Collective will continue its artistic research on the aesthetic possibilities of artificial agents with a dancer, Anne Naukkarinen, and a singer, Veera Hirvaskero.

Pat Nav, Jaana Ristola and Ismo Torvinen founded the Olento Collective in 2013. Jani Hietanen and Matti Hyvönen joined the collective in 2016. The members of the collective at the moment are Jani Hietanen, Matti Hyvönen, Jaana Ristola, Ismo Torvinen.

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Merima Dizdarević

Kuva: Sanela Selimović

Photo: Ioana Cojocariu

Multilingualism is a central part of my life and work and the question of language loyalty/disloyalty, regarding my first language/mother tongue and provenance is inevitably and involuntarily significant, especially when it comes to my artistic endeavours that come to be in the realms of former Yugoslavia or in the context of Yugoslav diaspora elsewhere.

I write in three languages; English, Swedish and BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian [+ Montenegrin]), a language I, along with others, refer to as “Naški” or “our language”. I have published a book in the three languages paralleled, but mostly not translated. At Saari I will primarily focus on three parallel manuscripts connected to performative poetry and hence work with these texts in combination with performance ideas. For the last couple of years I have mostly been performing in collectives, but am also keen to develop my solo performances tied to the texts I am working on. Simultaneously, I will be recording audio poetry with lo-fi musical elements based on the texts.

Alongside this, and time-allowing, I would like to explore some more things. One of them is this triad of the Yugoslav, the Swedish and the Finnish, something I would like to delve into on site.

This video was made a year ago, when I was originally supposed to reside at Saari. In it I talk about the above-mentioned field of interest:

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Marianne Holm Hansen

Marianne Holm Hansen in the Saari Residence.

Marianne Holm Hansen is a visual artist who works across media and method
including writing/ text-based work, drawing, photography, collaboration and
conversation. She explores how experience and knowledge is formed,
communicated, embodied and/ or understood through organising structures,
established methodologies, behaviours, habits and, in particular, language.
She is currently considering how we give form to that which exists outside
language. She has employed the notion of the void ­ as hole, gap, pause ­ as
metaphor for communicating in situations where language falters or entirely

She sees the Saari Residence as a unique opportunity to approach her
residency as a possibility for being in, and experiencing fully, the Void
itself. “I’ll attempt to place myself in a position that is entirely open,
including open to the potential that the impact of the residency may
radically shift the direction of the project as well as my practice

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Hou Chien Cheng

Hou Chien Cheng was born in 1981 in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. He received an MFA in Free Art from KASK School of Arts Ghent Belgium in 2009. Since then Hou has been exhibiting and participating residency programs in- and outside Europe. In 2012 Hou initiated an audio-visual, literary trilogy project titled ‘Orchestrating the Borrowed’. The trilogy contains three books – Brown, Green and White. Brown was published in 2014, followed by Green in 2016. During his time at Saari Residence Hou would develop a part of the final episode of the trilogy – White – which speaks of the psychology behind seeking validation. Hou currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

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Maria Laakso

Introduction coming soon.

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Kalle Lehto

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film author, curator and anthropologist

The Lost Innocence – script/treatment for documentary film.

I am documentary scriptwriter, director and editor. I am also curator and anthropologist. In the essence, the searcher for stories and storyteller, always seek the voices and stories of individuals, groups or communities that stayed silent and invisible.

Searching for the place of memory and past in the present moment is in the essence of my works. How we construct them in our mind and emotion? How we carry memory and past in the present? In my latest film “The Flood”, the topic was the collective memory of the inhabitants of the submerged town. In my earlier work “Day of Youth” it was ideologies and believes from the past that still divide people in the present Serbia. Now, my biggest challenge is to explore it not only in content, but also in methodology by using nonlinear film narrative; not common in documentary film.

“The Lost Innocence” is documentary that I’ve been filming in Romanian foster – family in a space of 11 years. The material that I made eleven years ago, describes the last moments that orphan Andrea spent in her foster family before she was taken by her grandparents. Later, it will turn out to be also the last days of her innocence childhood.

Andrea was transferred from her caring foster family to grandparents in 2007, when she was six. There she survived traumatic child exploitation. After two years of searching, her foster family found her in the bad condition and bring her back home.

The story will be placed in 2019, during the events that follow celebration of Andrea’s 18th birthday and the day when she legally needs to leave her foster family. That is the moment when memories starts to come out on the surface again. Interweaving past and present, film will explore memories and transfer experience of Andrea.

My aim is to intertwine past and present from material that are made in such long period (different technique, I was different as an author, characters changed etc). Analyzing the material from previous filming, I want to explore it as places of memory in the final story.

In documentary film world, no one gives you a time and space to experiment, to dream your film, to be inspired and to cross the bounders of the already known. Everything revolves around the industry and production. The Saari Residence gives that space. During my stay at the Saari Residence, I will research and reinterpreted filmed footage from 2007, explore non linear narrative and applied it in a script/treatment for documentary film.

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Introduction coming soon.

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Introduction coming soon.

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Through performance, installation, and sculpture I create visual cycles that investigate the source of movements. Pedestrian movements: those are the ones our body learns first. But how do these movements develop alongside and amongst other bodies? These questions stem from my desires to break down choreography to its deriving gestural movements. In a recent performance, Sourced, I created this cycle using four bodies which were all influencing each other through visual, verbal, and physical cues. Molly physically communicates to me, I verbally tell Constance, and Constance physically tells Priscilla. The autonomy choreographed into each “role” allows the performers to determine how the phrases change or develop throughout the process.

See some of my work at

I recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts with a BFA in Sculpture + Extended Media with minors in Dance + Choreography and Art History. Since graduating, I have been working with Natasha Kovacs on projects involving communication through physical language, contact improvisation and bodies as transportative communication capsules. See some of our collaborative work at

At the Saari Residence, Kevin Allen Schwenkler and I will focus on research into the development of scores and the peculiarities of their language. Since this is tied with group listening practices and group dynamics, our project benefits from developing connections with fellow residents and with the area as a social space. This research, combined with methods for the collaborative generation of scores based on listening and scribing practices, will lead over time to specific set material for a performance.

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Queerness and mixed racial identities are the source of my movement through the world. My artistic practice is an instance of this movement. By collaboratively composing performance scores I attempt to showcase this. Such compositions make manifest my belief that embodied collective action is the source and goal of all aesthetic experience. My recent piece Concerto for Voice, composed for the Mills College Contemporary Performance Ensemble, represents this. The piece consists of a network of musical tasks expressed primarily via text, each in addition to the shared task of interpreting vocalizations adjacent to speech that “comment without addressing anything.” All tasks, all sounds, and all actions in this piece are meaningless outside of the group atmosphere. So, the overall effect is one of collective sense-making of the musical unknown.

I am a recent graduate of Mills College, with an M.A. in Music Composition. I hold B.A. from Hampshire College in Mathematics, Physics, and Music.

See more of my work at

At the Saari Residence, Lindsay Parnell and I will focus on research into the development of scores and the peculiarities of their language. Since this is tied with group listening practices and group dynamics, our project benefits from developing connections with fellow residents and with the area as a social space. This research, combined with methods for the collaborative generation of scores based on listening and scribing practices, will lead over time to specific set material for a performance.

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