Residency Artists 2020

Zden Brungot Svíteková

dance artist, performer, dance maker and researcher.

During the stay in Saari I will be diving deeper into the role of senses, especially touch, in somatic practices and the ways these various methods are distilled into creative processes. The touch has long time been inherently present in my practice and as part of a resent research-creation fuelled by geology and focusing on tectonics, formation and deformation of matter, the need to understand the workings of touch became a necessity. As part of the research I decided to address peers practicing various somatic approaches. And so in Saari I will be continuing and processing interviews, researching theory from the medical point of view as well as the one of philosophy and social sciences. I will be documenting myself on the methods and techniques in somatic and hands-on practices as well as spending time in the studio in order to test and practice the research with a vision to collect material for a new work examining the sense of touch and its nuances. And last yet not least, the residency in Saari would be a place to start a concept for a platform for critical reflection and a symposium on touch.

Key words for the Saari time will be: soma, touch, corporeity, communication, violence, security, intimacy, mutuality, power relations.

I am looking forward to have space-time to read, process and write. To have an uninterrupted time in the studio for a continuous daily practice and creation.  A coming wit great curiosity to meet and interact with the fellow residents to meet their themes, visions and approaches. I am also grateful to again be spending time in the countryside, which will allow me to continue the ongoing work rooted in geology and deep time of earthly movements.

Zden Brungot Svíteková graduated with a Master degree in dance from the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia. Her artistic work is anchored in movement research fuelled by a deep interest in the body, where somatic practices and philosophy provide a language she speaks to talk about palpating events happening in a micro and macro level. By her open collaborative way of work Zden experiments with the frame of black box by directly questioning the apparatus of Theatre. Her choreographic work takes the form of performances set in and for various spaces such as theatres, galleries or public spaces. It is bound together by long term interest in interdisciplinary dialogues across art forms and scientific disciplines, touch, memory, communication, process and the nature of collaboration.

One of the leading interests in her artistic approach is to create and to cultivate a space for personal, embodied expression of each individual. Since 2010 Zden has been in a close artistic dialogue with Barbora Látalová and is a founding member of association OSTRUŽINA z.s.

She also collaborates on projects in frame of young audiences, community art and mediation/transmission oriented activities in form of performances, creative projects in schools and participatory events or workshops.


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Jennifer Katanyoutanant

Jennifer Katanyoutanant, artist and producer

Food is as migratory as the people who eat it. ‘Traditional’ cuisine is not always comprised of ingredients local to the region. The modern pizza is Italian in origin, but tomatoes came from the Aztecs. American hot dogs came from German style wieners, but the act of stuffing ground meat into casings goes all the way back to the ancient Sumerians and Chinese. This contradictory notion of foreign ingredients in traditional local cuisine call into question the origin stories of ‘authentic’, regional food, and what defines authenticity.

“Home” Cooked, our edible board game, is a physical manifestation of how distinct cultural traditions have been founded upon a longstanding history of global exchange and migration. It looks at how a foreign ingredient makes its way into a new country and integrates into a region’s existing food vocabulary.

I’m excited to meet the other residents, learn about Finnish food culture, and start integrating these histories into the game. I’m also excited to learn about the history of migration within Finland and see how its affected the food culture.

I’m big on research and spend a lot of time reading and talking to people. My favorite form of research is a cup of tea with people from the surrounding community. Then I take that research and make a quick prototype, test it with people immediately, and iterate. Sometimes this process takes me down tangents I end up treasuring forever.

Jennifer Katanyoutanant is an artist, producer, and community builder using immersive experiences to build creative communities. She makes installations, games, ARVR experiences, and loves imagining all the weird things we’ll be doing on the Internet in 10 years. Her work explores tangible manifestations of complex data structures, the reciprocal relationship between personal and global systems, and their influence on culture, identity, and media.


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Jazra Khaleed

Jazra Khaleed (b. 1979) lives in Athens, writes exclusively in Greek, and is known as a poet, translator and filmmaker. His works are protests against the injustices in contemporary Greece, especially the growing nationalism, racism and social exclusion. During his stay at the Saari Residence, he plans to work on a poetry cycle with the provisional title Haya said. With this work, he aims to explore immigration, trauma and xenophobia and, at the same time, speak about the impoverishment of life in Greece, unemployment, the bread lines and violence on the streets of Athens. He intends to demonstrate that poets can present through their art a new reading of the reality of immigration, giving emphasis to democracy, diversity and inclusion; they can challenge the anti-immigrant narrative, and create a basis for oppositional readings of xenophobia as expressed in news reports and social media.

As translator and founding co-editor of the Athens-based poetry magazine TEFLON, during his stay at the Saari Residence he will translate into Greek poems from Zaina’s Alsous book “A Theory of Birds” and he will edit the 23rd issue of TEFLON that will include, among others, poetry by Chairil Anwar (Indonesia), Marie Silkeberg (Sweden) and Nathalie Quintane (France).

In his work, Jazra Khaleed integrates knowledge and methods from various disciplines, seeking new forms of expression. He aims to combine different creative forms in new and unusual ways, working with fellow artists from different disciplines such as cinematographers, visual artists, musicians and actors, making movies and videos, creating installations, organizing performances, and publishing magazines and books. His poems have been widely translated for publications in Europe, the US, India and Australia. His newest short film “Kordelio Concentration Camp” premiered at the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival.


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Ginta Tinte Vasermane

Ginta Tinte Vasermane
Visual artist

Born in Riga (Latvia), she received B.F.A in audiovisual arts from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and M.A. from the Netherlands Film Academy, in Amsterdam.  She works in the field of motion pic­ture, multi-channel video installation, sculp­ture, per­for­mance, and social commentary. Her current works examine human behavioral and gestural choreographies in public places, rules and roles, the relation of bodies to space and in diverse structures.

Besides her artistic practice in 2015, she created VIDEO DRAMA, a nomadic artist’s platform, which makes traveling exhibitions and represents artists working in the field of moving picture.

At the residency Ginta will work in the surroundings of the Saari Residence and Mynämäki, she will observe time, landscape, human daily habits, rituals and movements through the lens of a camera. Those observations, as well as staged theatrical videos filmed at Saari, will be transformed in the form of video installation.

www.gintatinte.info

https://www.instagram.com/videodram.a

www.facebook.com/VIDEO-DRAMA-107805460841998


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Salome Tuomaala-Özdemir

Research fellow, activist

During the residence, I will be writing about neighbour relationships. I have been studying them in Hervanta, Tampere for almost three years in the Naapurijurtta (Neighbour Yurt) project funded by Kone Foundation. We collected stories and observations for the study, for example, in a yurt, which we moved to eight different locations in the suburb over the year. Hervanta is more to me than just a research subject; I have lived there for about four years and have been working on social projects since 2012. Taking a concrete step back from your own neighbourhood is necessary in order to refine your perspective. Residence work offers a great opportunity for this. During the home residence, I will be focusing on writing about performing ethnography.

While taking a step back from my research subject and home, I hope to get closer to good old-fashioned research: reading in peace and writing contemplatively. My texts are not created in a vacuum, but through dialogue with others. That’s why I’m very happy that the residence also offers the company of thoughtful and creative people. In the project, we have combined research and art, and during the residence I will continue to outline my ideas by writing, but also by drawing and painting.

I am a researcher at the University of Tampere’s Peace Research Institute TAPRI. In the past, I have studied ethical agency and changes in agency and have worked in several community projects. In the project Hervannan Uusi Paikallisuus (New Locality in Hervanta), I worked with artists and researchers to develop a multilingual community. In the Neighbour Yurt project, I have observed community development, neighbourly help as a daily dialogue and the spread of good practices among neighbours. I have also gathered experiences and thoughts about neighbourly help while living with chronic pain. The pain has interspersed my research work, changed my agency and activism, and intensified my relationships with the people and places near me.


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Grace Wong

Grace Wong is an artist, architect, builder, and currently a facilitator at the Art Farm Artist’s and Writer’s residency in rural Nebraska, United States.

Along with her collaborator, Jennifer Katanyoutanant, Grace will be exploring the themes of food history, game theory, and Finnish food culture.

During her residency at the Saari, Grace hopes to be able to research and experience Finland’s food history while designing and prototyping an edible board game with fellow artist and collaborator Jennifer Katanyoutanant. She anticipates play testing the food game with other residents, cooking, sharing stories about food culture, and creating documentation of these flavors and discussions.

Trained as both an architect and an artist, Grace’s work interweaves research-driven concept development, the rigorous process of iterative design prototyping, and investigative activities, which may include physical actions, thought exercises, and improvised performance. Her cooking techniques are a reflection her ability to problem solve; utilizing ingredients (sometimes unconventionally) based on their availability to achieve the desired outcomes.

Grace Wong uses site-specific architectural installation, participatory performance, and new media as means of creating playful yet insightful dialogues around local culture and memory. She began her career as a designer in professional architecture in 2013, and expanded into facilitating community-oriented construction projects since 2014. She has made design and construction contributions to the experimental net-positive prototype ‘Techstyle Haus’ (featured in New York Times, Archdaily, Inhabitat, Metropolis Magazine) and currently spearheads a number of projects repurposing discarded old farm buildings into studios, accommodations and facilities at the Art Farm Residency in rural Nebraska. 2017 marked a pivotal point in her career when she transitioned out of the architectural office into developing artistic projects in remotes areas such as Death Valley (California), Koh Lon (Thailand), Marquette (Nebraska), and Sôca (Slovenia). Grace is now the Special Operations and Logistics Strategist at Art Farm. She graduated from UC Irvine with a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Arts and a Masters of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. 


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ALEX ILARI AISSAOUI

PhD Candidate/researcher/lecturer

I work on my dissertation at the Saari Residence – more specifically chapters 2 (ancient international systems of states) and 3 (system vs society problematic) will keep me occupied.

During my residency, I expect to work hard, meet interesting fellow colleagues, and stay fit. It would be also nice to get to know the local community a bit.

I try to maintain a steady schedule between 9 a.m. and 17 p.m. everyday. During weekends it would be nice to do inspiring things with my fellow grantees.

Alex Ilari Aissaoui is a graduate student at the Doctoral Program in Political, Societal and Regional Change at the University of Helsinki. He is currently a member of the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires (ANEE) at the university of Helsinki. His academic interests include international history, international relations theory, the balance of power theory, and the English School. He is currently finishing his thesis on the ancient Near Eastern diplomacy.


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PEDRO HURPIA

Visual artist

During the residency in Saari, I will be working on my project that deals with the relation between faith and science in the use of the ancient practice of dowsing. Also known as ‘water witching’, dowsing is an activity in which people use an age-old technique of divining – usually just a tree branches – to tap into energy fields below the surface of the land to locate ground water, buried metals, ores, oil and other materials. For many it is a popular belief, without conclusive scientific explanations, centered on an apparently useless and fragile object that leads ordinary people from various parts and cultures to use it and believe in its efficiency.

The act of ‘dowsing’ itself resembles a performative action surrounded by rituals, pre-defined commands and methods in order to be successful for those who manipulate it.

These are few questions I am working with – How can belief foresee lost objects or hidden materials? By mentalizing objects or situations, could we redefine geological aspects? Could we elaborate a series of rules to apply it anywhere?

My method is based on developing resignified devices and fictional narratives in order to propose playful ways of generating knowledge that challenge our common understanding.

I expect to find a place connected to nature and creative tools that will allow me to develop these artistic strategies. I like the fact that Saari was an island surrounded by the sea up until the early 11th century. “As a consequence of the land uplift, however, it gradually merged into the mainland. The fields you see here today were once the seabed.” Probably, where we are now was underwater for a long time, hidden from everyone. Somehow this fits in with the poetics of my project.

http://www.phurpia.com/


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ACHIM LENGERER

Artist and editor Achim Lengerer works on questions of political speech and language that he addresses in his live performances, cinematic soundtracks or spatializes within installations and printed matter. Lengerer was educated at the Academy for Film and TV, FAMU, Prague, the STÄDELSCHULE, Frankfurt and the SLADE School of Fine Arts, London and completed his post-graduate studies at the Jan-van-Eyck-Academie, Maastricht, NL.

Currently Lengerer is working on a Ph.D at Goldsmiths, University of London, on the format of the collective rehearsal as an artistic and political model for spaces of social negotiation(s). Lengerer founded different collaborative projects such as freitagsküche in Frankfurt a. M., and voiceoverhead, with artist colleague Dani Gal (ISR). In 2017 he was invited to  to documenta14 with a 21-hour radio broadcast produced by SavvyFunk/Deutschlandradio.

Since 2009 Lengerer runs the showroom, production- and publishing house Scriptings, currently based in Berlin-Wedding. Scriptings functions as a discursive platform additional to Achim Lengerer’s solo-projects. Artists, filmmakers, writers, graphic-designers, performers as well as political activists are invited – all of which are working with the formats of “script” and “text” within their process of production. The use of “script” or “text” does not necessarily head towards the final production of printed matters, but might result in the production of a movie, performance or object generated through processes of reading, writing or verbal and political utterance. The presentations consist of live events (talk, discussion, reading, display, performance) as well as the publishing of the magazine Scriptings. During the residency Lengerer will continue to work on a collaborative project with Finnish artist Niina Lehtonen Braun, the community and library project Scriptings#50:  Learning “by heart” – A multilingual library for Nelly Sachs, a response to the poem of the Jewish-German-Swedish writer Nelly Sachs (1891-1970) and her poem “In deep flight”.


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PEKKA NISKANEN

Visual artist and researcher, doctor of visual arts

I am writing a script for a film that describes the Sahrawi people in the Hamad desert of Algeria, their traditions of oral narrative and the deteriorating ecological state of the Baltic. What the Sahrawi and the Baltic Sea share is phosphate. It is the raw material of the fertilisers that are causing the eutrophication of the Baltic, but also the reason why the Sahrawi are refugees. The work highlights the background and current context of the Sahrawis’ existence as refugees, which relates to the phosphate mines in Western Sahara seized by Morocco. In the film, I discuss the effects of phosphate and the mining industry on the living environment and communities of the Sahrawi with Sahrawi artist Mohamed Sleiman Labat. We also discuss oral and tacit information which helps to uncover the possibilities of these communities to survive the changes they are facing. 

During my residency, I will also work on my research article on the new identity of the Sahrawi. The nomad life of the old Spanish colonial era is being replaced by the passive resistance developed by the new generations of Sahrawi at the refugee camps, as well as by institutional knowledge and art-based types of action. The new narrative includes both traditional and new information and related practices.

During my residency, I will study various materials and source materials and revise both my film script and research article based on my findings. My work relies on remembering, on the emergence of the conversations, meetings and moments of work that I shared with Mohamed Sleiman Labat during his residency at Kone Foundation’s Lauttasaari Manor from July to October 2019.  I will continue our discussions during my residency and organise virtual meetings with Sleiman Labat, who lives in the Hamad desert. 

Pekka Niskanen is a visual artist and researcher, a doctor of fine arts, who has exhibited his work in museums, galleries and at film festivals in Europe, North America and Asia since 1990. He has curated exhibitions at the Helsinki Art Museum, Ateneum Finnish National Gallery, the cultural capital event in Dortmund for the Ruhr district, Pohjoismainen Taidekeskus (Northern Art Centre) and Werstas Finnish Labour Museum in Tampere. His works can be found in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki Art Museum, the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, the Dutch Art Academy, the City of Espoo and private collectors. In 2012, the Finnish broadcasting company Yle presented the documentary called Virtuaalinen sota, directed by Niskanen. The film focuses on Chechen refugees who fled from Russia to Europe. Niskanen has written two peer-reviewed research articles on the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, and implemented a video piece called Yhteisöterrorit (2017). During the Isis attacks, he was living and working opposite the Bataclan theatre. His video installation about the Antarctica and Burma called Can You Hear Me? was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma between 2016–2017 and belongs to Kiasma’s collection. Niskanen’s latest work, a film called Iranian Metal Coffee, was presented at the Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in Helsinki in August 2019. It tells the story of the Teheran-based heavy metal band known as Dark Matter Band. 


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ROBYN MAREE PICKENS

Art writer, poet, curator, PhD candidate

During my residency I will be working on a research-based poetry project. I will examine Hannah Arendt’s theory amor mundi (love of the world) to see whether it can inform ecological poetry (poetry that is directed towards the unfolding socio-ecological crisis). Theoretically and poetically, can I develop an “eco-poetics of love” based on Arendt’s amor mundi? The location of Mynämäki—with its warming climate and reduced snowfall—is one important place to consider theoretical and creative approaches to the Anthropocene.

At Saari, I expect to develop a nuanced understanding of Arendt’s amor mundi; to read closely the work of eco-poets such as CAConrad; to attune and respond to the unique ecology of Mynämäki, and to write a selection of poems based on these themes.

Robyn Maree Pickens is an art writer, poet, curator, and text-based practitioner. Robyn’s art writing has appeared in ArtAsiaPacific online, ANZJA, Art + Australia online, The Pantograph Punch, Art New Zealand and exhibition catalogues. Her most recent curatorial project (“Bright Cave” 2018) was presented at Blue Oyster, Dunedin (NZ). Robyn’s poetry has appeared in Into the Void, Peach Mag, SAND Berlin, Cordite, Plumwood Mountain, Matador Review, Jacket 2, and at ARTSPACE, Auckland (NZ). She was a finalist of the 2018 Sarah Broom Poetry Prize judged by Eileen Myles, winner of the takahē Monica Taylor Poetry Prize 2018, and a finalist of the inaugural Leeds Brotherton Poetry Prize 2019. Her poetry criticism has appeared in Rain Taxi and Jacket 2. Her most recent text-based work was exhibited at Te Tuhi, Auckland (December 2018 – March 2019). Currently Robyn is a PhD candidate in ecological aesthetics at the University of Otago, and an art reviewer for the Otago Daily Times and Art News (NZ). The UK poet laureate will launch the Leeds Brotherton Poetry Anthology (published by Carcanet Press) in March 2020.


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BENJAMIN SCHWEITZER

composer (also translator, linguist, cultural mediator) 

I will spend my residency composing a chamber concerto for the accordion and a chamber ensemble. What I hope and expect from my time at Saari Residence is peace to work, decent winter weather, interesting conversations with the other artists – and of course a hot sauna! 

My working method is to write in the traditional way using a pencil on music paper. I don’t write up the piece on my computer until it is completely finished. The actual composition phase is preceded by a long design phase, during which I outline the idea of the piece in graphic drafts and small snippets of text. 

I was born in Marburg in 1973. I have studied composition, music theory and conducting in Lübeck, Dresden and Helsinki (under Paavo Heininen). After my degree examination, I have mainly worked as a freelance composer, but also as a teacher of music theory and analysis, concert and festival organiser, lecturer, concert host, science writer, concert reviewer and translator (Finnish-German). I still see myself as a chamber composer, although I have also written operas and orchestral music. I have lived in almost every German state, in Finland and have participated in artist residence tours in Paris, Venice and Visby, but my permanent residence for the past 15 years has been Berlin. 

At first a sideline, translation turned out to be fascinating work and as my interest in Finnish kept growing, I decided a couple of years ago to take three years off from composing and study Fennistics instead in Greifswald and Tartu. In November 2018 I finished my master’s degree and have since slowly but surely returned to composition work. 

I don’t have a Facebook profile or Twitter, Instagram, etc., but I try my best to update my old-fashioned website www.benjamin-schweitzer.de regularly. 


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S-PROJEKTI | HELI KESKIKALLIO AND LINDA MARTIKAINEN

S-projekti is an artistic, long-lasting collaborative project between two solo artists. In it, choreographers and dance artists Linda Martikainen and Heli Keskikallio examine their solo performance practices side by side. 

During our time at the residence, we will continue to work on our solo performances, the Meeting ______ and Phhhhh, and will solidify our personal ways of working solo. We will also start planning our next solo works for this project. 

At the Saari Residence, we will work both independently and together, considering questions about solo work, such as: what is solo performance made of? What are you in relationship with when working alone? How controlled/uncontrolled can the process be? How to act and work simultaneously in different roles, such as choreographer/performer? 

In the solo pieces we are working on, we are constantly thinking about the relationships that we are creating with our surroundings, rather than focusing on the solo artist’s solipsistic presence. We are interested in the agency and authorship of various materials and their impact on each other. 

During our residency, we expect to spend time with the performance materials we have already found and to let ourselves be open to potential new angles. We are grateful for the time and space to work on our project without distractions and interruptions. 

We met each other during our master’s studies and, shortly after graduation, we both began to consider creating a solo piece.  Through this shared interest, we ended up creating a shared working platform we call S-projekti, in which we work side by side on our solo pieces. S-projekti was started in the autumn of 2016. We have been working on this project at residencies in Turku, Tampere and Helsinki. We have performed work-in-process versions of Meeting _____ and Phhhhh about every six months at Taidetila Virgiinia, Haihara Art Centre, Vapaan Taiteen Tila (Free Space for Art) and Performance Center Eskus, among others. Through regular work-in-process performances, we examine the boundaries of the performance event and look for new potential forms for solo performances. We observe the relationship between the performance and the spectator/person experiencing it and we ponder how the audience becomes a part of the performance process. The next solo performance in our project will take place at K&C Tila in Helsinki towards the end of 2020.  

Important themes in our joint work are continuity and maintaining and feeding the long process. Our goal is to increase the appreciation of the unfinished, of learning and insights instead of readiness. We nurture our artistic work by giving our thoughts, materials and cooperation time to mature.

https://www.facebook.com/Sprojekti/ 


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