Residency guests 2015



At the Saari Residence, we are going to be beginning work on a sound production project that is somewhere in between music and sound art – and also calls into question what those art forms are, of course. We will be working with different kinds of sound: inspecting them and melding them into rich and raw music that has a political edge. During the residency, we will play, compose, record and write material that in 2017 will be released in an album. Our intention is to form a solid foundation for our artistic collaboration, to get to know each other’s work methods and to develop and deepen them.

Our working style is informal, multidisciplinary and discursive, and always includes a critical perspective: imagination is an important component in constructing a shared reality. We are interested in the unstoppable flux of everything, the fickle nature of the planet and of personality, and similarly, in the capriciousness and unpredictability of history and all human action. When something is seen as a starting point or origin, there is always a reason for it and there are always consequences. We enjoy overcoming cruces and contradiction in our work; we walk the line of insecurity and incomprehension by talking, playing and making sounds. We want to make music that inspires people to live without harmful fixation and encourages them to enjoy the ride that is our revolving planet.

Marja Johansson is a musician born in Sweden, also known by her artist name Tsembla. Niko-Matti Ahti has and continues to make music in various contexts, the oldest of which are the bands Kiila and Kemialliset Ystävät. He has studied literature and is a stout friend of ball games, picking mushrooms and the sauna. The artist duo’s partnership is not only professional but also marital. They currently live in Turku, Finland.

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Hassan Blasim


In Saari Residence I continue working with my first novel. The main theme in the novel is the power of storytelling.

Hassan Blasim is an author. His books have been translated into several languages: English, Finnish, Bulgarian, French, German, Polish, Italian, Turkish Icelandic and Swedish. Blasim was described by The Guardian as ‘perhaps the greatest writer of Arabic fiction’.

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Leena Kangaskoski

Leena Kangaskoski 2015

At the Saari Residence, I am going to try to contemplate the quantum. Futures researcher Olli Hietanen paraphrased Heidegger in his essay Tulevat todellisuudet (”future realities”; Todellisuuksia. Taide, 2005) by stating that ”- If a person is holding a screwdriver, they see the world in terms of driving screws. If they have a hammer, they see it in terms of hammering.” (freely translated)

What if they were holding quantum theory in their hands? Would the world present itself in terms of quanta? What does it even mean? That wondrous quantum that allows us to create predictions of reality as we experience it with astounding precision, despite the fact that it behaves so strangely and illogically.

Through vigorous investigation, though with unorthodox and unscientific methods, I will try to figure out what adopting a quantum perspective might mean in everyday life. During my residency, I will prepare situations and objects through which I relate to reality as it appears in terms of quanta.

I will also be finalizing pieces for my Läikähdyksiä series at the Saari Residence. The series stems from the space between the mind and the body. The boundary is fickle. The body affects the mind and the mind affects the body. The work is reminiscent of a field in which easily reactive straws form ever-changing tides, stops and dams. The pieces draw influence from interviews with experts.

Leena Kangaskoski (b. 1982) has studied at the Royal College of Art in London and at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki. Her work has been showcased in galleries, theatres, festivals and museums, in as diverse locations as the Barbican London and a nomadic gallery in Vancouver, Canada. Kangaskoski is the other half of artist duo A Few Pointers and a member of the Artists’ Association MUU.

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Victoria Leslie

Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

I have always been very interested in the connection between water and femininity. Though male mythical entities inhabit various bodies of water in folklore and legend, there are not it seems, as many as of the female variety, nor are they depicted quite so readily in art and literature.

During my stay at the Saari Residence, I’ll be finishing a novel exploring this relationship between water and femininity, focusing on the nineteenth century when an interest in mythical water women was at its peak. I intend to explore the link between this mythical construction and the social reality for many women who didn’t conform to the mores of the day, when record numbers of Fallen Women were found drowned in the Thames. I want to present a more fluid, less polarised interpretation of femininity during this period and to consider how these mythical and historical antecedents are still causing ripples into the modern day.

Read Victoria’s blog

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Sonya Lindfors


Sonya Lindfors is a Helsinki based choreographer, performer, curator and artistic director. Lindfors is also the founder and artistic director of UrbanApa art platform. Both in her work as choreographer and artistic director Lindfors deals with questions of power, blackness, authenticity/fakeness, inclusion/exclusion.

“ In the Saari Residence I will be working with the up and coming piece NOBLE SAVAGE that premieres next spring in Zodiak – center for new dance.

NOBLE SAVAGE deals with the questions of colonialized bodies, racialized identity and narratives, exclusion, inequality, shame, race and representation. How is otherness represented and exotified and who gets to tell whose story are at the core questions of the piece.

In the Saari Residence I will be doing research about and around the subject. That includes a lot of reading and writing  as well as doing movement research.”

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Charlotte Mumm

2014_Portrait Charlotte

Photo: Stefan Ruissen

Working with multiple media, Charlotte Mumm crosses the lines between painting, drawing, sculpture and installation. In her work that sits within abstract and figurative, she often deals, inter alia, with paradoxes, the senses, transformations and spatial questions.

“In my artistic work I want to consider space and volume in an open way. I find it interesting to think about doing this not only by applying physical materials but also by using other ‘immaterial’ methods.

Therefore I would like to use my time at the Saari Residence to focus on volume as well as on patterns/structures. The broad field of creating and perceiving volume offers room to experiment in form (different media) and content. At the same time I like to immerse myself into the polarity of patterns and structures – symmetry/asymmetry, origin/abstraction, personal/neutral, repetition/narration etc.- These areas by itself or combined allow many spatial experiments – finding my very own dimension that’s what I’m hoping for.”

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Katie Shlon


As an artist, I am concerned with how our interactions between built and natural environments effects our emotional relationship to ”landscape” and in turn effects personal growth. Working through the human impulse to control the natural environment, I use silkscreened outdoor fabric, everyday objects, natural elements, and sound to create site-specific installations in response to place. Utilizing spatiality as a tool allows me to create new situations for the viewer to reconsider the relationship between themselves, architecture, and wilderness.

At the Saari Residence, I will focus on a series of artist books and accompanying built structures responding to Finnish architecture working in harmony with the environment, and their impact on social structure.

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Katri Tukiainen

Kuva: Pirre Naukkarinen

Katri Tukiainen has an M.A. and an M.P.Sc. from Paris-Sorbonne University. She thinks of herself as an ”old Africa hand,” or in other words, a seasoned veteran of development cooperation in Africa. Working in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malaysia, she became acquainted with children’s’ rights and found her calling in working with child soldiers. With the help of a grant from the Kone Foundation, Tukiainen is working on her doctoral dissertation at the Tampere Peace Research Institute on the role of child soldiers in conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa.

During her time at the Saari Residence, Tukiainen wants to trade in the four walls of her research space for social interaction and is looking forward to meeting arts and science professionals from different disciplines with great enthusiasm and interest. After all, multi- and interdisciplinarity in academic research are here to stay. As a friend of painting herself, Tukiainen has used drawings, for instance, in her interviews with child soldiers for her research on the subject. Minos, a dog adopted from Greece, who is a true world traveller and has experience in living in Mali, for example, accompanies Tukiainen during her residency in November and December. We’ll see you at the Saari Well!

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Katariina Salmijärvi


Visual artist, Master of Arts

“At the Saari Residence, I will be working on a series of works that currently runs under the working title Musta tuntuu (musta= ”I” or ”black”, tuntuu=”to feel”). On the one hand, the name refers to experientiality and spins a story relating the obscurity of dark moments. On the other, it refers to their materiality and the colour used in them.”

Katariina Salmijärvi’s (b. 1972) artistic focus is on painting and environmental art. A recurring theme in Salmijärvi’s paintings is the structures of thought, actions and time. As her paintings are often based on her own personal ways of seeing and experiencing and pose questions primarily through her own actions, her environmental art is often opinionated and challenges the viewer to active participation.”

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Riitta Päiväläinen

Art Photographer, (Master of Arts, 2002)
Born in Maaninka in 1969. Lives and works in Helsinki, Finland.
Artistic work, conceptualizing a theme and shooting for a new photography series.

”The following themes interest me both as an artist and as a person: memory, memories, the history of the day-to-day, microhistory, presence and absence, leaving a mark, landscape, and the significance of place.

I have used second-hand clothing and ribbons, for example, in my photographs and have placed them within a landscape. My work is very concrete and time-consuming. It is discovering a place, stopping there, getting to know it, and contemplating what it is prompting me toward, what it inspires within me. The result is an interaction, a dialogue, between the material (the ribbons) and the place.

Saari Residence is an opportunity for me to get away from the day-to-day. I can contemplate and work on something new in peace. I am particularly intrigued by places. Why do some places call on me to photograph them? How do we see places and how do they live in our memories? How are memories of places from my childhood reflected in my photographs?”

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Katie Newton

Katie Newton

I am a photographer based in the United States. I work in various photographic mediums from traditional black and white film to digital, however much of my recent work involves the use of alternative processes, many of which do not include the use of a camera. The natural world directs much of my photographic explorations and I allow nature to have a strong physical impact on my artwork. At the Saari Residence I will make a series of Anthotypes utilizing the surrounding natural environment. Anthotypes are a photographic process that requires plant material to create emulsions which are then exposed by natural sunlight. The resulting prints are evolved from the natural world and as such, provide insights into the mechanisms of nature. The slow exposure process involved in the making of Anthotypes will also allow for the time to photograph the natural surroundings of the Saari Residence using both digital and film formats.

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Pennanen Saari

Ph.D., Docent of Ethnomusicology

Music, Musicians, Soundscape and Colonial Policies in Habsburg Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1878–1918

I am a music researcher and my current research project, funded by the Kone Foundation, focuses on the relations between music, musicians and soundscape in Bosnia-Herzogovina during the period of Austro-Hungarian colonial rule. By expanding the perspective, the project seeks to dismantle the currently pervasive canon of music research in Bosnia and elsewhere. My research focuses on all kinds of musicians and types of music. For one, I will be analysing the significance of made-up traditions pertaining to music and soundscape, in particular, in terms of their role in supporting the colonial power’s attempts to fortify its legitimacy and prevent the spread of South Slavic nationalism. Another important theme in my research is the control and regulation of musicians and soundscape by the colonial Provincial Government, as well as related disciplinary actions, including handing out and revoking professional musician licences, censure, fines, taxation and performance location control. Thirdly, I will be investigating power structures and the constructs of musicianship.

The majority of professional musicians were men and performers of other than western music were primarily locals or foreign Romani. From a gender research standpoint, female music groups are particularly interesting.

I will be working at the Saari Residence from September to October 2015, during which I have the invaluable opportunity to focus on my writing and work on my manuscript.

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Nadija Mustapic & Toni Mestrovico

An artists duo Nadija Mustapić and Toni Meštrović (Croatian audiovisual artists based in Rijeka) collaborate on large-scale multimedia projects that have been installed at museums and galleries. Their collaborative work captures social issues and expands categories of documentarism into spatial and poetic immersive sensory experiences. Mustapić and Meštrović engage in research-based site-specific projects that generate audio-and-video-mediated events which aim to challenge the audiences’ perception of a place, context or dilemma in question.

They combine different approaches and processes which vary in their individual art practices.

Nadija Mustapić makes video installations that explore multidimensional relations between the representation of a space, its subjectivity and its political contingency. Often using (urban) landscape and herself as central character, she creates narratives about how a specific space or an image is transformed and inhabited.

Toni Meštrović is a video artist working predominantly with video and sound installations. His work often addresses themes of cultural heritage, identity, and the changes that occur along the Adriatic coast during the Croatian period of transition. Bodies of his work are based on life lived on a small island of Veli Drvenik, where he descends from.

At the Saari Residence we are working on a continuation of a ‘shipyard’ project, which has previously been shown as a multi-channel audio/video installation titled “Moment of Silence”. Now we are creating an experimental film that focuses on the topic of shipyard industry in Croatia – specifically two mayor shipyards “3. May” in Rijeka and “Brodosplit” in Split, which since negotiations of Croatia’s entering the EU have been facing uncertain future and massive discharges.

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David Kerr


I am an illustrator from Glasgow, Scotland. I like drawing, writing, making books and prints and doing research. I have also been involved in a few different activist projects over the years relating to gentrification and housing rights.

For the Saari Residence I would like to create a new series of works inspired by the writings of Richard Stallman founder of the Free Software Foundation and Dmitri Kleiner author of the TeleKommunist manifesto.

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Pauliina Haasjoki

2015-05-29 15.28.04

At the Saari Residence, I will be putting the finishing touches to my poetry book Planeetta (”planet”) due to be published next spring. While I am here, I will do my best to give it a continuous and flowing overall rhythm that will allow the reader to keep up with the wandering thought processes that slowly piece together.

These thought processes came to touch upon the idea that planet Earth was not created for us but rather we are born into its circumstances. All life is tailored to accord to the planet’s gravity, temperatures, surface shapes, water and air cycles. The journey from a planet favourable for sustaining life to the state of civilization as it is today has been very complicated but it is very difficult to imagine an alternative. What kinds of fantasies do we have of what is happening? As a cognisant species, we have achieved a moment in which we are aware of the planet as a limited entity. We are beginning to understand the cognisance of other species.

When the big picture is revealed, the love for our planet and the love for humanity falls into a terrible conflict. How do we dream without leaving our physical planet?

Two years ago, I began a collection that entailed writing essay fragments for a work entitled Tietoliikenne. In it, I try to think about space: the laboratory of thought that today manifests itself in the role of metaphysics, the enabler of planet-wide communication, the space in which we imagine all manner of threats and blessings when they touch upon us all, the whole biosphere. In its completion, the book will be a laymen’s subjective musing that advances like a poetry collection but speaks more candidly. I hope that this work also moves forward during my time at the Saari Residence.

I have written six poetry collections – most recently Hiukset (Otava, 2013) – and one poetry dialogue, one dissertation, two completed poetry blogs as well as some essays, critiques and articles for various journals. Together with Peter Mickwitz, I translated into Finnish Gunnar Björling’s poetry book Solgrönt (1933), which was published by Poesia in the spring of 2015 under the name Auringonvihreä. I am also a member of Poesia, a cooperative of poets that publishes poetry. I am also a member of Nuoren Voiman Liitto, Finland’s foremost advocate of contemporary literature. I live in Helsinki.

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Rea-Liina Brunou


At the Saari Residence, Rea-Liina Brunou will be developing a new method of movement that is based on both Authentic Movement, the Klein technique and the rhythmic articulation (in relation to the music it is paired with) typical of ballet, and combining it with an inspection of the motives of different characters. She calls the method the Pedestrian Ballet. By combing three different methods, their uniqueness as forms of bodily movement is clarified, and familiar methods are melded into an energy and aesthetic all of its own.

During her residency, Rea-Liina will be applying the technique to the planning and creation of two new works. One is a choreography for two dancers that is due to première in the autumn of 2016 and currently runs under the working title Pedestrian Ballet – Tragédies. The work’s research question is how inspecting and attempting to identify with the secondary characters of ballet classics, for example Hilarion (Giselle), Alain (La Fille mal gardée) or Bennon (Swan Lake), affects Authentic Movement. The tragedy of the work stems from the structural secondary nature of the characters and the unattainability of dreams generally associated with the ballet; a conflict between desire and concreteness within the body of the dancer.

This problematic of dualism is unravelled by delving into the method of movement. By expanding the dancers focus both inward and outward – from themselves to something else, something unfamiliar – we find a place where the boundaries of the ego are dismantled, freedom and intuition meld into knowledge, and the dimensions of the body-mind are clearly drawn for the audience to see. From tragedy emerges hidden comedy, from heaviness emerges lightness. The aim is to find a path to an existence and dance that is empathetic and splits dualisms (mind/body, sense/sensibility, myself/others, high/low culture).

The other work that the new method will be applied to is a collaboration with climate researcher Ilona Riipinen. Brunou and Riipinen are working on a performance for the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma’s / event about the manifoldness of climate change as a phenomenon, information, and the interaction between man and the environment; it is about the relationship between understanding oneself and environmental change. The work will be performed already during the residency period on October 16th, 2015.

Rea-Liina Brunou (b. 1982) is a free artist working with dance, video and performance art. In her latest works, Rea-Liina has contemplated the form of time, its movement within the body and in an environment, the relationship between personal and shared experiences, and the boundaries between being seen and being hidden. She is a Master of Arts in Dance.

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Quantum Puppetry

Quantum Puppetry Photo Kari Vainio

Marika Leinonen-Vainio, Sabrina Maniscalco, Boris Sokolov, Anna Ivanova-Brashinskaya, Michael Brashinsky (left to right; photo by Kari Vainio) at the Session 1 of the Quantum Puppetry group at Saaren Kartano residence, August 17 – 27, 2015. The group gathered at the residence to begin the process of researching the possibilities of creative collaboration between visual-theatre artists and quantum physicists. The result (as planned, it should be a result of several collaborative sessions of which this was the first) would be a contemporary visual-theatre performance (combining puppets, objects, circus, magic, etc.) which would translate the quantum-physics’ research and discoveries into the language of theatrical images and dramatic collisions, available for understanding to the most-general audiences.

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Inner Spaces


Dancer Julie Nathanielsz and composer Maija Hynninen got to know eachother at Saari Residence in the autumn of 2013. Their collaboration continued the following year in the United States. In the summer of 2015, a grant from the Kone Foundation offered a much-needed opportunity to return to the Saari Residence and realize a new collaborative work in Finland.

Currently under construction is the work Electric cues, which focuses on the relationship between spontaneity and artificiality. A previously constructed, electronic system meets a spontaneous, human variable. The work combines contemporary music, dance and visual art into an organic, performative entity. Electric cues premières at LéSpace in Helsinki on September 9th, 2015.

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Teija and Pekka Isorättyä

Art robotics at the Sea. The finalization of an electromechanical, performative sculpture series born by the sea.

Our electromechanical sculptures peel away the traditional language of design to expose another form of art that touches the viewer in a new way. We are an artist couple and we work ’quad-dextrously’ on our sculpture art. Our works are ”art robots”, in a sense, that strive to perform for the viewer. Electricity has been used in Finnish contemporary art since the 1950’s. Our perspective combines this tradition with art festivals that have marginal origins, such as Burningman, Robodoc or Fusion’s ”Steam Punk” –genre. Our comprehensive, ”all-in” way of life makes it exceptionally expressive. Our sculptures are made with discarded objects and other such materials, which each readily have meaning ascribed to them. A sculpture created from such objects contains a traceable associative and significative value chain that leaps deep into the experiential environment of the viewer when electricity brings the sculpture to life.

During our four weeks of work, our aim is to finish a series of electromechanic and performative sculptures that we have been working on for the past two and half years in Finland, Germany, Denmark, Mexico and Japan.

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Hoisko ja Salmivaara


Dancers Inari Salmivaara and Maija Hoisko will work on their I Am A Museum project at the Saari Residence

In their I Am A Museum project, dancers Maija Hoisko and Inari Salmivaara examine the body as a private and public museum.

“A permanent, non-profit institution that serves society and its development, that is open to the public and that – to promote research and education and give pleasure – acquires, preserves, studies, provides information about and exhibits physical evidence of people and their environment.”

In their I Am A Museum – project, Hoisko and Salmivaara explore how the definition above can be applied to the human body. The project is based on their bodily memories of Solo for Ursula O, a duet performed at Ateneum in 1999.

How can bodily memories be activated and research carried out through movement – dance? How can we open such a bodily museum to the public? What type of physical evidence of or information about people and their environment can we produce in this manner? Can a body be a museum, after all – even a private museum?

The working group consists of Maija Hoisko and Inari Salmivaara, who previously cooperated in 1999.

Maija Hoisko

Maija Hoisko is a choreographer based in Tampere, Finland, who has studied the collective

national identity and the significance of the gender and age of performing artists in her works in recent years.

Her most recent works include Inappropriate (2012), based on the themes of films by Teuvo Tulio, a director with a cult following, and Monday Club (November 2014), examining the past and present status of female artists.

Inari Salmivaara

Inari Salmivaara is a choreographer and dancer who hails from Rauma, Finland, and lives in Paris, France. Her works are based on real-time observations and often on the creative process itself, the experience of performing or watching. Her works combine various fields of art, examining socio-political themes, such as hope, utopias and cooperation. Her previous visiting performances in Finland include 5 in a Work not Cited at the Barker Theatre in 2008 and the solo works Letter Piece Vol. Paris and I Am Lying at the XS Festival of Ehkä Productions in 2009 and 2011, as well as Aimless Hanging Out with Friends, a work commissioned by Ehkä Productions and performed at Kutomo in 2013.

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Photo: Jouni Ihalainen

The Forest Project

We are Sade Kamppila and Viivi Roiha, two circus artists also known as Duo Kamppi & Roihu. In 2015, we launched a project spanning several years, with its main theme being the creation of circus art in the forest. The Forest Project consists of various sections and forms of implementation, all of which intertwine with the forest theme. The sections include creating a performance in the form of a nature trail in the forest, short films using acrobatics as their form of expression that are filmed in the forest, the Circus Art in the Forest series of photographs, and forest-based workshops for children and adults that promote well-being and expressive movement inspired by the environment. We also seek to study the relationship between people and the natural environment and deepen our relationship with nature.

The Forest Project is mobile, but tied to a specific type of environment. The performance will be adapted to each forest, producing a unique work in which the natural environment is the third performer. The idea for the project arose from our desire to spend more time in nature. Spending time in a forest is a purifying experience that makes you feel more grounded. We feel that our examination of the forest and our relationship with nature will provide us with new dimensions and inspiration for creating circus art and art based on movement. Through the project, we want to take circus and its audiences from the traditional theatre setting to the forest. We seek artistic freedom and interaction with nature, and we hope that our project will provide viewers – even those estranged from the forest – with a reason for sharing a moment in nature with us and for breathing deeply.

We will arrive at the Saari Residence after a residency period and demos of the nature trail performance at the Silence festival in Kittilä, Finland, and the Scenes de Rue festival in Mulhouse, France, as well as photography retreats with Isla Peura and Ben Hopper in Pyhä-Häkki and Uukuniemi in Finland. At the Saari Residence, we will focus on research into circus art that is inspired by nature and physical exercises.

More information about the project is available at

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Mirkka Kinnula and Anne Mölsä

We are visual artist Mirkka Kinnula and poet Anne Mölsä. Together we founded Muotokuvatiski (”portrait desk”) in the autumn of 2012.

Muotokuvatiski is a mobile art counter that is set up in a public space. Anyone can sit at the desk as a model and in fifteen minutes they will have their portrait both painted and written as a poem. The model gets to keep both portraits and they are also published on our website WWW.MUOTOKUVATISKI.NET.

Muotokuvatiski’s purpose is to bring refreshing artistic experiences into people’s everyday environment and to offer participants joy and a sensation of meaningfulness. An important part of the work is the Internet page, which offers an overall view of our work and allows a larger audience access to it. A significant part of the works is also how the visual portraits and texts inspired by the models communicate and what kind of connection forms between them.

We will be coming to the Saari Residence for two weeks in July 2015 to brainstorm and plan the future and development of Muotokuvatiski. We have been doing Muotokuvatiski according to the current concept since 2013. It has taken place a total of ten times and has been experienced by approximately two hundred people.

At the Saari Residence, we will be delving into our work and will try to evaluate its strengths, possible developmental challenges and its future. We will chart possibilities for a publication or exhibition and future collaborations, for example. We will also contemplate whether we wish to have Muotokuvatiski take a stand on current issues. Muotokuvatiski has the potential for many.

Mirkka Kinnula (b. 1985) graduated from Tampere University of Applied Sciences in 2012. Her artistic focus is on painting and community art and she teaches applied painting courses. What Kinnunen enjoys about Muotokuvatiski is the opportunity to work in different spaces as well as the fast-pace, conveyor belt –like painting of live models where you can throw yourself into the work without thinking too much.

Anne Mölsä (b. 1986) is a writer, performer, journalist and a Master of Social Sciences. She works with poetry and prose, writes for magazines and performs poetry slam. Through Muotokuvatiski, Mölsä has learned how important it is that a text sometimes faces its reader head on, without the influence of years of processing and of gatekeepers. Portrait poems are born in a minute and writing them is both freeing and difficult. Each portrait poem is the result of an encounter between two people and as such, is always unique.

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Simo Kellokumpu and artistic research group


The artistic group is working towards my dissertation for the University of the Arts Helsinki, tentatively titled Choreography, Representation and Context: “Where is my stage?”

Simo Kellokumpu and his working group will work on his dissertation Contextual Choreography at the Saari Residence while also focusing on the artistic projects included in the process. The dissertation focuses on the multitude of reciprocal relationships between context and choreography. The question of how the selected cultural context serves as a choreographic apparatus is at the core of the creation of art as part of the dissertation. The research project is based on multifarious observations of the relationships between the body, movement and the environment (of the performance).

The multidisciplinary artistic research group consists of Sari Palosaari, Mikko Hyvönen and Vincent Roumagnac. The goals of their work at the Saari Residence include examining the significance of the concepts “through-site” and “site-conditioned” in and for artistic work. How do these concepts differ from those of “in-situ”, “on-site” and “site-specific”? The group uses these concepts as an approach to the more extensive question of what happens and how in the process of naming and defining a context, and how artistic work creates its context.

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Koski Collective

The Koski Project is a collective of acclaimed international multidisciplinary artists that creates site-specific performance art pieces in varying locations and cultures.

Drawing upon the artists’ broad background of physical, musical and visual art practices, our work celebrates and illuminates local people and their living environments.

The collective takes inspiration from the particular communities we’ve been invited to explore, creating performances that reflect our experiences back to the local people.

In coming to the Saari Residence we aim to open our working process and methods to more experimentation and exploration. We wish to clarify and strengthen our collective creation ‘language’ and find ways to support individual creativity and voice within our work.

The collective will engage creatively with local artists and/or other residents. This has been our practise at each working period so far and also needs further examining. We will also start developing and re-creating aspects of our main work, ‘Koski’ (working title/name of the original performance and structure), for a Finnish audience and cultural perspective.

The individuals of the collective have a broad cultural and artistic background. This together with curiosity, sensitivity and sharp vision are the strengths of the collective.

The feedback from the three seasons so far has been encouraging; the spectators connect to the work on a deeper level than we dared to dream of.

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A first draft development of ”Ianfu”. Fusing Eastern and Western performance styles, Ianfu will be a highly physical theatrical experience based upon untold women’s stories from World War II.

Our project is called “Ianfu,” a Japanese word meaning Comfort Women. It is a collaborative physical theatre piece based upon women’s stories from World War II.

During World War II, the Japanese military recruited and at times coerced and forced many Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Dutch and Australian women to work as ‘comfort women’ or prostitutes for the Japanese Imperial Army. The subject is still contentious in Japan, with the Japanese government reluctant to apologize for this policy in the face of international pressure.

The plight of these comfort women is a story which remains hidden among the other atrocities committed during the second World War. In fact stories of how war has affected the lives of women seem to take a backseat to those of the men who fought and died in battle. By shining a light on this shocking practice we hope to raise awareness of the suffering imposed upon women in times of conflict and to transcend our existing perspectives.

Our goal at the Saari Residence is to continue to develop the text of the piece. Based on the stories we have researched, we will weave multiple stories about comfort women into a cohesive narrative. The residency will provide time to explore the physical language by experimenting with elements of Eastern and Western performance styles. This physical language will then be applied in rehearsal of the work in progress. Ultimately we would like to complete a working draft of the piece, which can be presented and shared with other residency members. Our aim is to create a piece which is balanced, free of judgment, and which illuminates the humanity of these women who have been buried under the label of “Ianfu (Comfort Women).” By presenting a draft performance we hope to garner objective feedback, which can be incorporated to further develop of the piece.

The working group consists of Yuko Takeda, Tina Mitchell, and Paul Peers.
Yuko is a Japanese actress based in Helsinki, Finland. Tina Mitchell is an Australian actress based in New York City. Paul Peers is a stage director of opera and theatre also based in New York City.

Ianfu worked at the Saari Residence in June-July 2015.

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Experiments in sound and movement and developing sensory technology as part of Shaman Shoes, a sound installation.

Launched in 2012, Shaman Shoes is a cooperation project in the field of wearable technology. It is a mobile sound installation that uses sensors to convert daily gestures and movements into sounds. At the Saari Residence, we will focus on the further development of programming and the equipment and on the enhancement of the project’s power of artistic expression. The goal of improving the installation technology is to produce more accurate and receptive sensor data and thus lay a solid foundation for artistic experiments. The purpose of the experiments is to study the interaction between movement and sound. Our goal is to accurately collect and record various choreographies of action. This will enable us to present the energy and musicality inherent in movements. The soundscape created through action will turn daily observations into something exceptional.

Ensaemble worked at the Saari Residence in June-July 2015.

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Preparing the 100th anniversary exhibition of Taidesalonki

The group consists of three visual artists: Paavo Paunu, Tomas Regan and Viggo Wallensköld. We prepared works for the 100th anniversary exhibition of Taidesalonki, which will be held in autumn 2015.

We painted spatial works in which the painting is founded on three factors. The themes of the exhibition include the relationship between the viewer, the painting and the space. We are interested in how experiences of an image are formed in a space. We also use various types of structures, examining how a gallery space can be changed and reconstructed and how different ways of creating images come together.

We are particularly interested in illusions and their creation in a space, as well as the layered structure of spaces. We seek to create narratives in which interpretations of works are constructed as a story where the exhibition continuously responds to individual works.
Our purpose is to operate at an interface where painting, drawing and sculpting become comparable to the mediums of photography and videography. In such circumstances, the space gradually consists of various ways and processes of creating images. Our purpose is to convert the exhibition into a situation, an entity between traditional and new media, creating an area of visual narration where the interplay of images, sounds and colours play is particularly meaningful.

The group worked at the Saari Residence in June 2015.

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Utopia workgroup


Planning and preparation of Utopia

We began rehearsing our Utopia – A Dancing Conference series of works at the Saari Residence. During our residency period, we discussed our own utopias and various utopian plans related to selected themes. We performed exercises in movement and music and made preparations for our first conference, which will be held in the Bear Castle at Korkeasaari Zoo on 4 September 2015. The group consists of Maria Saivosalmi, Lotta Suomi, Sari Palmgren, Jukka Peltola, Jukka Tarvainen, Janne Masalin, Tuomas Norvio, Heikki Paasonen
and Karoliina Koiso-Kanttila.

The group worked at the Saari Residence in June 2015.

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Vanhalla Postitiella is a Performance Project on the old post road, through South West Finland on the way to Turku

On the Old Postal Road

Lintutorni is a group of nine Finnish and international artists, who met at the Saari Residence in November-December 2013. The group is formed of artists
of various ages and working across a diverse range of media. The memebers of the group are: Matthew Cowan, Friederike Felbeck, Johanna Juhola, Paul Landon, Heli Meklin, Jaakko Niemelä, Minna Pöllänen and Mirimari Väyrynen.

After meeting in Saari, the group has continued to collaborate.

During the group residency, Lintutorni will work on ‘On the Old Postal Road’-project, which will be part of the Olohuone-festival in Turku. The projects of Lintutorni are created through interaction and dialogue between the members of the group and they combine different disciplines of art, such as dance, music, theatre, visual arts as well as artistic research.

The ‘On the Old Postal Road’-project consists of travelling the old mail road from Saari Residence to Turku. The journey, made by foot, will take 3 days with over night stays on the road. Before the walk the group collects letters, which are then delivered enroute via music, dance, performance, visual art and spoken word. The journey will end at the market place in Turku, where a ritual of delivering the letters will take place.

Through this slow journey made by walking the group will interact with fellow passengers, local inhabitants and the environment. The journey, rather than its destination will hence become the core of the project.

Lintutorni worked at the Saari Residence in the summer of 2015.

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Nordic Authors for the Future of Literature


A seminar promoting networking among Nordic authors and examining the future of prose

Nordic Authors for the Future of Literature is a group of authors interested in the future of prose. It consists of 11 Nordic authors and Susan Bindermann, who is a literary agent from Germany, an expert in Nordic literature and an influential literary figure.

The authors of the group represent the young generation of prosaists in their home countries. Each has written between two and five works, achieved international success and won literary awards. The group includes authors from all of the Nordic countries. They are united by an interest in themes related to society and writing about being outsiders.

The topic of this year’s seminar was “Can literature save the world?” Other issues that currently interest the authors include considering whether literature has a real effect on people. In addition, we are interested in discussing the changing world of literature and publishing and the role of authors. The idea is also to establish contacts with translators, editors and literary agents in various countries and maintain a Nordic network of authors.

The group worked at the Saari Residence in summer 2015.

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Practicing the Selfies series of performances

Selfies is a performance project spanning several years that studies the act of revealing and being revealed. We use our personal memories and experiences as material. In the Selfies project, we are examining how a personal portrait develops into a live performance through the collective process.

Aiming for an uncomplicated work environment, we want to study the nature of series and processes in artistic work. Instead of spectacles, we are interested in encounters, working together and performances in the finely nuanced sense of the word – a form of being.

Each of our work periods approaches the theme of “personal” from a different perspective. At the Saari Residence, we worked in the forest, in the yard and indoors, focusing on issues related to humanity’s relationship with nature and the themes of life, death and cycles. We question our experiences of the self. We examine how our being and actions are formed through continuous, subconscious interaction with other people, the environment and things. What would a biological self-portrait look like?

On 12 May 2015, the last day of our residency period, we invited other residents to participate in our work.

Working group

Petra Vehviläinen, Kati Raatikainen, Iida-Maria Heinonen, Hannu Kivioja, Jonna Nykänen, Esa Mattila

The group worked at the Saari Residence in spring 2015.

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Iltamat (Social Evening)

Planning and preparation of the ILTAMAT (SOCIAL EVENING) concept

We (Katariina Angeria, Mi Duncker, Anne Hiekkaranta, Essi Ojanperä, Jenni Kallo, Maija Karhunen, Janne Masalin and Ilkka Tolonen) are a group of music, circus, dance, theatre and visual arts professionals. We have met in conjunction with various multidisciplinary artistic processes – in traditional theatre spaces, northern river landscapes, small villages and busy cityscapes.

We are looking for a direction and a boost for scriptwriting, dramatisation, choreography and further production plans related to the Social Evening concept at our first meeting at the Saari Residence from 4 to 13 May 2015. Social Evening is a continuation of communal forms of artistic work carried out in northern Finland, with the goal of creating high-quality, multidisciplinary performances for small villages and locations near main roads.

Iltamat converts traditions into modern art, a three-hour cocktail of mind-blowing dance, music, scents, desires and moments of lightness and joy. Social Evening will be touring in the far north of Scandinavia in January 2017.

The group worked at the Saari Residence in spring 2015.


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Tatjana Bergelt


Visual Artist
Researching Sámi issues and Sámi language, translating and doing an Artists’ book with poetry by Nils Aslak Valkeapää. The need of sharing experiences, creating narratives and using various language

Barfuss im Schnee – paljoin jalloin lumessa (working title)

I was raised bilingual and got influenced by two strong cultures, German and Russian-Jewish. I lived and studied in many countries before moving to Finland in 1998. My bilingual education and ability to speak several languages gave me the opportunity to include those into my work.

During my residency I want to work on my artists’ book “Barfuss im Schnee” with poems by Nils Aslak Valkeapää.

NAV (Nils Aslak Valkeapää) is certainly on the most famous Saami writers. By translating his poems and showing them in my work, I can contribute to spread the awareness and knowledge about Northern Saami language and Saami existens as such.

Besides collages, paintings and stone lithografies I have been also doing artists‘ books since 20 years. They naturally follow the line of narratives which question self-defined identity, our collective memory and political consciousness.

Language is also a reason why people do not understand each other. Therefore I am consciously using the rhythm and graphic structure of letters and fonts as a visual element within my work. I am overlapping metaphors, initiated by words with a variety of images. I am playing with duration and fragmentation, incorporating the codex of the book to present a window of time.

Photo: Antti Sajantila

Tatjana Bergelt worked at the Saari Residence from March to April 2015.

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Malin Grahn-Wilder

Malin Grahn-9

Writing a non-fiction book

Malin Grahn-Wilder is a writer, dancer and scholar of philosophy. At the Saari Residence, she will begin work on her new non-fiction book on the philosophy of emotions. In 2013, Grahn-Wilder defended her dissertation on concepts of gender and sexuality in ancient stoic philosophy and received her doctorate in theoretical philosophy from the University of Helsinki. At the moment, she is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä. She has also taught philosophy and gender studies at a university level as well as traditional jazz dance to both children and adults for several years.

What intrigues Grahn-Wilder the most about the philosophy of emotions is the simultaneously private and general nature of the subject. Emotions are a personal experience but they also have an important social dimension. Hatred and hate speech are a particularly relevant example of how emotions aren’t merely a private matter but rather strongly affect society and other people.

In her work, Grahn-Wilder hopes to intertwine the philosophical theory of emotion and the practical side of facing and working with emotions. She is confronted most concretely with the latter in her work as a dancer and teacher of dance. For her book, she intends indeed to draw not only from her experiences as a philosopher but also from those as a dancer. In the peace and quiet of the Saari Residence, Grahn-Wilder will focus on writing the first draft of her manuscript.

Malin Grahn-Wilder worked at the Saari Residence from March to April 2015.

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Tua Hautamäki

TUA H_2015_mv _vaaka_Inke Rosilo 2

Diploma in Crafts and Design
Design of an animated forest and puppets for a puppet theatre production

Tua Hautamäki is a scenographer from Jyväskylä currently working at Savonlinna Theatre (Savonlinnan teatteri). She was first introduced to puppetry at the Green Apple Puppet Theater (nukketeatteri Vihreä Omena) in 1995. From thereon, puppet theatre has held its place alongside costume and stage design. Hautamäki has also studied mask design in Italy, for example, and received a degree in puppet-making in 2014.

At the Saari Residence, Hautamäki will be working on the scenography for the puppet theatre production Keijujen kuninkaalle kadotetut lapset (”children lost to the fairy king”).

The performance gives a voice (text) and a face (projected photography) to those youths who have or have had mental or social problems, as well as to their parents who grieve and are concerned. The production also includes people from outside Finland as equal participants. The script is compiled of a puppeted interpretation of Goethe’s poem The Erl-King, texts written by young people and their parents at art workshops and news covering youth issues. Music for the production derives from Schubert’s score for Goethe’s poem, folkmusic and jazz. Photographs taken of the youths and their parents will be projected onto both the set and the performers. The travelling performance will premier in the summer of 2016. A book about the project will also be published in 2017.

Other  members of the group include director and scriptwriter Raili Kivelä, photographer Hanna-Kaisa Hämäläinen, light and video artist Teemu Määttänen, dancer, choreographer and yoga instructor Ruu Toropainen, graphic artist Christina Noukkala, cultural producer and singer Pirta Laaksonen, researcher and blogger Kirsi Saurén,  social work consultant and singer Tanja Tarkiainen, actors Kirsi Nurminen and Jonathan Failla as well as musicians Laura Vartio and Katri Susitaival .

Photo: Inke Rosilo

Tua Hautamäki worked at the Saari Residence from March to April 2015.

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Silja Järventausta

Silja_jarventausta_kuva_Tatjana Bergelt

Writing of a fictive non-fiction book for adults

At the Saari Residence, I will be working on a prose poetry manuscript that has had the working title Fiktiivinen tietokirja aikuisille (”fictive non-fiction for adults”) since 2012. I will think of a new name for the book at the Residence.

The manuscript’s texts are a variety of poems, stories and modified factual texts. The texts’ subjects encompass natural phenomena, circadian rhythm, religion, World War II and the lives and perspectives of different characters. I want it to be textually wired to the fullest, to have the reader read the language of the book and to feel as much as possible: I want to turn everything into letters and the letters to feelings. At the Saari Residence, I will focus on the order of the manuscript’s parts and its entity. I will evaluate how the overall theme of ’leaving’ is present in the texts. At the same time, I will consider how well the transitions from the city to the country and back flow in the book.

Photo: Tatjana Bergelt

Silja Järventausta worked at the Saari Residence from March to April 2015.

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Lily Kiara


Dancer, choreographer and singer-songwriter

FIELD OF DISAPPEARANCE (work title) – Investigating aspects and possibilities of disappearance in dance, to clarify and specify the work towards a new performance project

My name is Lily Kiara. I have been making dances, songs and poems. At the Saari Residence, my work space is the dance studio.

I will be working on the basis and direction for a new dance project: Field Of Disappearance (work title). I wish to investigate different aspects of disappearance and different ways to look at the subject, not necessarily to make the piece yet, but to lay solid ground for it.

There are many ways I could approach this subject. For many years I have been intrigued and moved by people gone missing, disappearing. What goes on inside of people if they know that nobody knows where they are? They disappeared to someone and some place but they still are somewhere. Also disappearance in relation to presence, absence and transparency and what that may mean to the dancing body. And the possibility of disappearing through layers, different depths of disappearing perhaps. I am inspired in this by The Rothko Chapel in Houston.

I have worked in the areas of presence, stillness and resonance for many years. Aspects that I relate to the imagination of disappearing. Now I wish to tune my attention directly to what seems to me the essence, perhaps of all: the act, experience or perception of disappearing on another level: the act of ‘getting out of the way.’ A lifetime practise. And yet, how close could I get now in performance, in communication and relation with an audience when dealing with the subject itself other than letting it be an underlying vision? What form would it take?

Part of my daily practice will be an individual training deriving from these particular interests. How can you practice to ‘get out of the way’ when you bring your attention to it? Deepening my ongoing practice and interest from a new place in my dancing.

Another part is making photos with these interests in mind, to support the composing and imagination (framing, appearing, disappearing, in-visibility, inclusion, exclusion).

Lily Kiara worked at the Saari Residence from March to April 2015.

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Visa Knuuttila


Visua Artist
Artistic work

Visa Knuuttila is a visual and performance artist and a visual designer. During his residency in the Saari Residence he works mainly with the visualization process of the Plato’s Symposium mystery play.

Plato’s Symposium approaches the contemporary political situation through an in-depth transformation of the individual. Its central assumption is that the platonic metaphysics is true: that beauty exists, and that the world we perceive is merely made of shadows flickering on the cave wall.

Plato’s Symposium first started as a part of the 2012 research plan of the Helsinki-based Reality Research Center collective, under the theme of Utopian Reality. The aim was to create a method to approach absolute beauty, deriving from the origins of Platonic philosophy and the ritualistic traditions of Ancient Greece, as well as utilize the roots of theater and Western civilization as means towards personal and cultural emancipation. Plato’s Symposium premiered in New York, 2013, as a part of the Theater as Theory conference. The primary structure of the piece was a ritualistic path leading towards the experience of beauty, traveled subjectively by each participant – or “protagonist” – during the week-long duration of the play.

The second edition of 2015 concentrates at a further deepening of the sensory and corporeal power of the play. The piece will be built throughout the year, culminating at the premiere in December. Knuuttila’s work at the Saari Residence will be mostly concerned with the visual and graphic design of the second edition. The other members of the group, artists Tuomas Laitinen, Maria Oiva and Jani-Petteri Olkkonen will also visit the Residence in April.

In the beginning of the residency period Knuuttila also completed a series of video projections for the concert of Sound and Fury -jazz band in Savoy theatre, 24 March 2015. The orchestra, consisting of nine top Finnish jazz players, played a series compositions by the late, great Edward Vesala, and the show was a grand success. Heartfelt thanks to Kone Foundation are in order, for the working environment and the surrounding nature, which proved priceless in the visualization process.

Visa Knuutila worked at the Saari Residence from March to April 2015.

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Eric Tanguy

Eric par Vahan

The Composing of a New Symphonic Work as a Tribute to Sibelius on the Occasion of the 150th Anniversary of his Birth. Commission of the Jyväskylä Sinfonia

Ville Matvejeff, wonderful composer but also a great conductor and performer of my music has asked me to write a piece for his orchestra in Jyväskylä on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Sibelius’ birth. The commission is for a work for symphony orchestra (about 50 players) of an approximate length of 8–10 minutes. I have happily accepted his proposal, since it opens up the wonderful opportunity to honor this genius that has profoundly impressed me at a time when I was seeking my voice as a composer.

Eric Tanguy worked at the Saari Residence from March to April 2015.

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Ivana Todorovic


Documentary filmmaker
Artistic work

I’m a social documentary filmmaker from Belgrade, Serbia. My films are character driven and are informed by personal experiences of human instincts and modes of survival when dealing with trauma.

Up until now, my films have dealt with themes of gender and sexuality, homelessness, the education of Roma children living in squatter settlements in Belgrade and youth gun violence in New York City.

At the Saari Residence, I want to deal with the theme of incest through writing my scenario for docu-fiction film. I want to take the audience on a journey with a person coping with the trauma of incest in a traditional society, a society based on strong familial bonds, as the Serbian society is.

Through three key points in a life of an incest survivor, the film will examine what changes in a child’s perception of herself and world around her when the abuse happens; when a girl has a ‘revelation’ and admits to herself what happened to her in childhood and the way she is able to cope with it and when a woman decides to address this issue with her family and open a dialog.

The film will be divided in chapters. Narrator will be a 35 old woman, Marija, returning to Belgrade after living abroad. She returns home with a camera, hoping to open a dialog with her family.

The visual style of the film will be primarily through visual and auditory experience, rather than from dialogs.

The film deals with condition of silence and inability to openly talk about pain in a family closed for communication and a society that is unsympathetic to trauma.

Ivana Todorovic worked at the Saari Residence from March to April 2015.

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Anaïs Héraud


Performer and visual artist
La Ritournelle

The object of my artistic interest for the performance project that I propose for the Saari Residence is based on the principle of la Ritournelle.

Ritournelles are small phrases, often melodic, that turn themselves around repetitively. La Ritournelle carries its singer further with each repetition of the phrase ; it is a progressive space creating through its spiral effect a territory in the unknown. Ritournelles are essentially performative.

In my performance art practice, I feel the need to put into words the ephemeral of the performative pictures that I create. In my artistic process in the residency I want to develop the first bricks of a methodology of writing that impregnates the action and reflects the experience.

I will investigate the surrounding environment of Saari by situating my work both inside and outside the studio. I will bring new elements into my research such as light and darkness in relation to objects for the creation of my performative images. I will work on the musical

concept of “looping” and develop sound pieces based on my writings. These elements will impregnate the original performance that I will present in Saari at the end of the residency period.

My process will be documented in the Cahier de ritournelles, a collection of the Ritournelles that I have written during the residency, that I will be able to use as a score, a material for performances or simply a dynamic trace of what has happened.

The object of my artistic interest for the performance project that I propose for the Saari Residence is based on the principle of la Ritournelle.

Ritournelles are small phrases, often melodic, that turn themselves around repetitively. La Ritournelle carries its singer further with each repetition of the phrase ; it is a progressive space creating through its spiral effect a territory in the unknown. Ritournelles are essentially performative.

Anaïs Héraud worked at the Saari Residence in January and February 2015.

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Sonja Hinrichsen


Snow Drawings Project

I am an artist based in San Francisco and received my art education in the United States (San Francisco Art Institute, MFA) and in Germany (Academy of Art and Design Stuttgart). In my artwork I examine urban and natural environments through exploration and research. My work manifests in immersive video installations and interventions in nature. As an artist I feel the responsibility to address subject matters our society tends to neglect or deny, including adverse environmental impacts. While I aim to provoke thought and engage my audiences intellectually, I am not interested in creating lasting artworks, as I believe that our planet is over-saturated with man-made products. I like to unfold my work into large immersive experiences, however I prefer that it live on in its documentation only, and – hopefully – in the memories of my audiences.

At Saari I plan to conduct Snow Drawings, a project that engages communities in the creation of immense drawings that stretch across snow landscapes. The drawings are created by walking lines into pristine snow surfaces with snowshoes. The project relies on community participation and combines collaborative art-making with exciting winter outdoor activity. I am planning several Snow Drawings events in the Saari, Turku and possibly Helsinki vicinity – ideally on the frozen archipelago. The finished drawings will be photographed from an airplane or drone. If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact Saari or email me directly ( You can see images of previous snow drawings projects on my website under “SNOW DRAWINGS”

While at Saari I also plan to edit photos of my 2014 Snow Drawings projects in France, as well as a new video, which will be shown in an exhibition in Baltimore this April. In addition I plan to write a grant for a 2016 Snow Drawings project in the Sierra Nevada (USA).

Sonja Hinrichsen worked at the Saari Residence in January and February 2015.

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Henna Kaikula

henna_kaikula copy

Circus Artist
Artistic work

I graduated in 2003 from a 3-year circus artist education at Cirkus Cirkör in Sweden, with one-year part-time studying at Dance University of Stockholm. Since then I have worked 11 years as a freelance performer and co-creator in a wide range of styles and stages around Europe, Asia and Australia: contemporary circus, varieté & cabaret, dance theatre, physical theatre, contemporary dance, film, commercial shows, experimental pieces, social circus projects – with companies of others as well as my own initiatives and companies/collectives (MedAndraOrd, KOSKI Collective, Molayo Dance Collective). Since 2010 I have been studying theatre making and acting in the University of Melbourne as well as in various master classes and intensives.

Since the beginning of my career I been drawn to collaborate with artists outside my own art form and am ever curious to meet with different ways of thinking, seeing and creating . My circus work has been influenced by these collaborations, as well as by the four past years of the theatre and movement studies.

At this moment I am in a place where I am inflated with information and experience from various ways of working, methods, techniques, ideas, cultures, conscious and un-conscious habits of others’ and mine. I have a need to take a better look at where my work is, what is beneficial in my own practise and what is excess.

At the Saari Residence I will be writing and preparing for a new piece, Harso (working title), a theatrical circus performance for three circus artists that I will direct later on in 2015. I will be looking into the various working methods and techniques I have studied and ran into in the past years, systematically go through them to see how they adapt to circus creations and form a clearer practise and working method. Within this process I will be starting working on three short solo pieces, fragments that will form one performance or three separate acts. I am looking into contortion in three genres, comedy, drama and thriller.

Henna Kaikula worked at the Saari Residence in January and February 2015.

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Jaakko Pesonen


Media Artist / Architect
Artistic workPost-production of the video installation Pet/Prisoner/Pensioner (Koira/vanki/vanhus) and scriptwriting for a new video installation entitled 4 x yksin (”4 x alone”)

I am a media artist with a background in architecture. My works display an interest in both finding new ways of combining moving picture with space as well as in the nonlinear structures of storytelling, which allow viewers to have new and surprising experiences. My works are temporal sculptures that can be approached at any given moment and with no limit to the time spent in their presence – their stories are different each time you look and serendipity coats them with new layers, their very own lives, in a sense.

At the Saari Residence, I will be working on the Pet/Prisoner/Pensioner video installation. The subject of the work centres on the discursive similarities between Internet discussions concerning pets, prisoners and pensioners. The installation focuses on old age, which is approached through interpretations of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Coming of Age (1970). Pet/Prisoner/Pensioner is an interactive and spatial video installation in which two actresses Kristiina Elstelä and Riitta Elstelä face the viewer, each other and themselves.

I am also beginning work on two new concepts. One discusses the Hindi word akela, the four significances of which can be translated as meaning ”alone”. The subject of the second work is the concept of paradise in our time.

Read about Jaakko’s project in the Saari Residence from here.

Jaakko Pesonen worked at the Saari Residence in January and February 2015.

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Joonas Rutanen


Scriptwriting for the feature film Rakastan Annaa (”I love Anna”)

I am writing the script for the feature film Rakastan Annaa (”I love Anna”). The film is a story about the very last moments of childhood right before entering the teen years; it is about a group of socially excluded kids who learn about life at a life management camp for Internet addicts.

The theme of the fictional film is approached through methods typical of documentaries and so, field research is essential to the scriptwriting process. The intention is to learn about the treatment of the harmful effects in children and youths of overexposure to the Internet and digital gaming. Research was conducted primarily at a pediatric neuropsychiatric unit.

The story unfolds through the protagonist Roni (13). Roni is an Internet and game addicted pre-teen who switches from private therapy to group counselling. Roni participates in a life management camp for children where kids who have become alienated from everyday life learn its basics. At the camp, Roni becomes friends withAnna (14) who is a year older than him. Anna and Roni develop a close friendship, akin to first love, defined by a mutual search to find their place in the world.

Joonas Rutanen worked at the Saari Residence in January and February 2015.

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Alexandra Salmela


Author, translator
Finalization and editing of the novel Antisankari (”antihero”)

The novel Antisankari (”antihero”) is about cowards, apathetic erratics and frustrated little punks who, in the intoxicating night of magnificent Koro Novo, run into each other and into the dirty tracks left by a natural disaster that happened twenty years prior. At the time, many disappeared during the labour pains of Koro’s nature-socialist neighbouring country Utopia. The slow unfolding of the identity, history and motivation of the main narrator is the driving force of the novel’s plot.

Climate change, the crumbling of civilisation, wars are not a threat to us – we are already living a dystopia. What chance does a small group of (alternatively) thinking individuals have in the face of billions living blindly? Can the masses, those lemmings happily marching towards the edge of the cliff, be forced to fight for their survival or is the sovereignty of man really untouchable? Meteora is worried about what will happen to the trees; the once dead and resurrected Suunnanantaja (i.e. someone who gives direction) wonders if anything has any meaning, we are all just a tiny spec in space, after all.

The novel’s technique varies from linear narration and diary entries all the way to poetic form and textual collage. The work is very graphic and plays with different types of text, the forms of which are intrinsically tied to content. I want to investigate how the type of writing can replace/enforce the direct description of a situation or state of mind (for example, ”he read distractedly” à the size of the text being read wavers, the text disappears, a certain line is repeated etc. just as someone’s gaze would wonder).

Photo: Pia Bartsch

Alexandra Salmela worked at the Saari Residence in January and February 2015.

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Philippa Hambly & Samantha Jayne Williams


Performer and MA Advanced Theatre Practice
Masking the contemporary female

Acheulian Theatre is a collaboration between physical theatre artist Philippa Hambly and art writer and theatre maker Samantha Jayne Williams.

The Acheulian hand axe is the earliest known human tool. Acheulian Theatre is a tool for cutting into reality and digging out its hidden parts. Through playful experiments, we make work that responds to current experience.

At the Saari Residence we will be researching and developing a performance in which three women stage stories from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, distilled from the oral legends of ancient bards. Two are convicted murderers from the twenty-first century, Amanda Knox and Delara Derabi. The other is medieval mystic, Birgitta of Sweden who claimed to channel the voice of God.

The project is an alchemical attempt to boil down cultural and historical crosscurrents of magic and myth, gender and violence to disclose the contemporary feminine element.

We will be working with the theatrical tool of mask as a means of stripping away personality, and the cultural specificity inscribed within it. Conventionally, masks are male. Female characters appear unmasked. By using mask, and having characters perform other characters, we concentrate what is irreducible about female power, its iterations and representations, and how it often appears in outsider figures.

Integral to our residency will be the development of a praxis for bleeding performance, reality and fiction, working through the creative languages of writing, theatre and visual art, and beyond them into emergent forms.

Philippa Hambly & Samantha Jayne Williams worked at the Saari Residence in January and February 2015.

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