Residency guests 2016


how to know how
no how to no
how to know how

improving emotions, reactions, destructions, distractions, or living with self-help literature at the edge of wilderness

One manifestation of the individualising tendencies of today is self-help literature. Texts from which one learns to heal and fashion oneself, ultimately one learn how to change oneself, to be molded to better fit into a contemporary way of life that encourages flexibility, positivity and other virtues of globally-networked individuals. We will use a selection of self-help books to try to single out the requirements of this contemporary subjectivity and, in view of these, to develop tactics of (self-)resistance. Our work will begin with us trying to improvise ‘improvement’ following the guidelines of the books. We think that when we have learned how to, we have also learned how not to. The project is not ironic but is rather willing to test affirmative reversal as a method. We would like to evolve the idea of what an inversed robinson crusoe would be, because we should get beyond or before survival as the ultimate horizon of life. To learn these how(-not)-to’s will involve daily practice of both body and mind, individually and collectively, elaborating ‘technologies of the self’, reflexive and oblique (self-/group-)analysis, plural writing, joint listening, tactics of living post-usership and post-profit, to begin with.

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Hilja Roivainen

I am a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art and Special Needs and Inclusive Education (2010) and Master of Arts in Fine Art (2011, 12-month full-time MA programme), University of East London. In my oil paintings, I have depicted the concepts of landscape, memory and place. I was a first-year postgraduate student in the PhD in Art History and Theory programme in the University of Essex, England, from 1 September 2011 to 30 June 2012. During my studies in England, I also worked as a university student counsellor and art teacher/educator in various schools and organisations. From September 2012, I have been working on my doctor’s thesis in the University of Turku, taking part in exhibitions, directed art workshops for senior citizens and young people, and taught an Art History course based on my research in the University of Turku.

”The utopian landscape in 21st century Nordic painting”, the doctoral monograph in art history I am currently writing with the support of an academic research grant from the Kone Foundation, will produce a theoretical interpretation of the concept of the utopian landscape, along with a visual analysis of utopian landscape painting in contemporary Nordic art. I compare the landscapes painted by six Nordic artists in the 21st century in relation to pictorial and intellectual forms of depicting utopias (from the Greek eu- and ou-topos, good non-place) in Western literature, painting and art discourse in the 16th to 21st centuries. The form of the paintings in my 21st century material is defined by the utopian topos and the fragmentation of landscapes. My research method combines iconography and intellectual history.

During my Saari residency on 1 November – 31 December 2016, I will be working on the manuscript of my thesis, of which I will finish two chapters. The first chapter will define the utopian topos or mode in the history of Western landscape painting and major utopian literature and synthetise the landscape metaphors in Ernst Bloch’s philosophy of utopias (The Principle of Hope, 1959, 1986). The second chapter will analyse the utopian topos, partly coloured with dystopia, in the landscape paintings of Anna Tuori, Petri Ala-Maunus, Andreas Eriksson, Astrid Nondal, John Kørner and Eggert Pétursson.

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Mikel R. Nieto


This project looks at the way language is lost in this Anthropocene period as a result of the absence of certain states and processes that occur naturally in the environment, such as the different states of water, snow and ice. Finnish employs over forty terms* to refer to these states. Taking these words as a starting point for its research, this project will collect in sound the greatest number of these natural processes, in order to draw attention to their absence or the impossibility of recording them because of their non-existence or extinction.

The sound material of the project will therefore be made up of snowflakes. In order to obtain this sound, as well as the possible sound differences between each snowflake, special and specific materials will be developed for such a special recording process. It is well known that in the Arctic Circle, people can see and hear things that are impossible to appreciate in other parts of the planet. These phenomena are caused by special atmospheric conditions and some people in these latitudes have described hearing sounds emitted enormous distances away and others of an extreme delicacy.

In 1985, Joseph Scrimger wanted to calculate the noise generated underwater by rain, hail and snow (Nature 318, 647). During his study, he found a constant and unexpected sound during snowfall, but was unable to identify its source. Lawrence Crum, from the University of Washington, Seattle, heard the recordings and suggested that this constant sound contained a vast quantity of micro-sounds from the tapping of individual flakes on the water surface. In other words, according to Crum’s theory, the snowflake makes the water sound, ring and even “strums” it.

This project has been developed with assistance from Kone Foundation, Etxepare, the Spanish embassy in Sweden and EMS Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm.


* Note: These are some of the words in Finnish used to refer to the different states of water, snow and ice: sataa lunta, lumi, pyri, myräkkä, rae, räntä, tuisku, laviini, hyhmä, loska, sohjo, ahto, ahtauma, jää, kide, kohva, paanne, railo, röpelö, tökkö, iljanne, hanki, huurre, härma, kinos, kaljama, kuura, nietos, nuoska, polanne, tykky, viti, avanto, jotos, latu, rannio, nirskua, narskua, kirskua, nitistä, narista, mora, banquisa…

Mikel Nieto. Commissioner, artist and investigator. He studied art in San Sebastian, Madrid and Barcelona. For some years he has been deeply involved in phonographic practice and the resulting theory. He has given workshops in a number of cultural centres and universities. He forms part of the team behind the sound map of the Basque Country, SOINUMAPA.NET, and Hots! Radio, as well as the dissemination portal. With José Luis Espejo and Xabier Erkizia, he currently coordinates the Observatorio de la Escucha (Listening Observatory).

He has worked on numerous occasions in partnership with dancer and choreographer Jone San Martin in different dance projects for his sound design. His book ”Dark Sound” was recently launched by German publisher Gruenrekorder. It describes research he conducted in 2014 on the impact of the noise, direct or indirect, generated by the oil industry in its different phases of development among towns, the environment and wildlife in the Amazonian jungle in Ecuador.


Links: (recordings of snowflakes)



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Present Past is a project that question the present moment as something impossible to apprehend and the paradox related to the impossibility to capture it. Through images of shadows, the present moment is eternalized in its continuous movement. Observation and capture of light conditions in context will be an important part of this process.

In the development of my work, the experience of encountering different places and cultures and dialoguing with them have led me to new reflections and practices. The Saari Residence is an opportunity to get to know the Finnish culture and to share with peoples from other parts of the world. My latest residencies at Banff Center Canada in 2011 and San-Art in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam in 2015 opened up new reflections and artistic approaches in the world of light and shadows relations, the time continuous movement and the perception of reality.

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When I applied for a residency at the Saari Residence, I included a picture of witches being burned at the stake. That was more than a year ago. Over the course of that year, my third novel, Pyhä peto (the Sacred Beast) has seen daylight − and I have been born again. Once more. In the Sacred Beast, I explored the causal chain of ignorance, fear, hate and violence.

There is more information, more easily available than ever before in the history of mankind, but despite this − or maybe precisely because of this − we have moved to a post-information and post-truth era. Even political decisions do not have to be based on expertise any more. Laziness could be added to the list as the seed of ignorance, but it is only hate that lights the bonfires.

The smell of roasting human flesh is everywhere. What wind could make it dissipate? What rain could put the bonfires out? After all, the burning pyre is only the final image, the result of everything that went before. The topic is current, but I am not interested in topicality in literature. It is a possible by-product, not the goal. Time is not to be trusted.

The question is, what is the role of the human mind in all this? What is the spirit we so often invoke when defending humanity? Is it just matter, neurotransmitters flashing across the synaptic clefts of nerve cells? Will we ever be able to understand our own actions or those of anyone else?

The future novel is based on thematic entities I have made to collide. These encounters have created thought patterns that titillate the mind (!). What do quantum physics and Buddhist cosmology talk about with each other? Can they find an unexpected level of vibration? What if, for example, neurobiology would join the merry band? Or zen? Panpsychism?! Am I looking at a meaningful equation only waiting for a solution? Could I be the one to master that equation? The mindless mind that has adopted words as its tools and research instruments.

Ink on paper. Pixels on a screen.

Places and regions where you can sense the history of man have always made an impression on me. Kyoto. Cádiz. Damascus. When I saw that the year 1295 plays a role in the Saari Residence’s history, I was convinced that soon I would be in a place where I belong − at least for the next few busy weeks. Kyoto’s afternoon aglow with cherries, the foggy night of Cádiz, the high morning of Damascus and thousands of years of the written and unwritten history of mankind. A November day in Saari, when the eye cannot see where one greyness ends and the next begins. The year is irrelevant.

From my residency at the Saari Residence, I expect both peace and quiet to concentrate on my work and encounters with the other guests. Fortunately, we represent the most different ways of examining reality and unreality, the world and the alternative worlds around and within us.

I am also anticipating the moments when the mind will be free to roam. Or just stay blank.

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At the Residence, I will be working on material for my AYFL? (Are You Feeling Lucky?) piece that will see daylight sometime in 2018. The heart of AYFL? lies in the randomness of life; on how matters sometimes go in the right direction at exactly the right time, while at other times everything feels difficult and we are constantly running into obstacles that test the very limits of our patience. My instrument is the hoop trapeze, with which I study chaos and harmony.

I aim to enjoy working and encourage myself to also go in directions where I feel insecure and lost. My goal is to set as few expectations on the results of my work as possible. At present, I am thinking of some type of fairly stripped-down physical poem performed on the hoop trapeze. However, over the course of my residency I may equally well find myself in a rehearsal room transformed into a merry garden party to which I invited people to celebrate the transience of life with me.

During my residency, I will explore the human manifestations of chaos and harmony in the spirit of experimental circus art. In all likelihood, there will be much confusion and, possibly, a few moments of revelation.

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ALEXIS DIAMOND is a Montreal-based playwright, opera librettist, musical lyricist and translator. Recently, Alexis won a Glassco Translation Residency in Tadoussac, Quebec, and an Individual Artist residency at the international Saari Residence, Finland. Her award-winning plays, operas and translations for audiences of all ages have been presented across Canada, in the U.S. and in the U.K. She is co-founder of COMPOSITE THEATRE CO., a long-standing member of the national organizations PLAYWRIGHTS’ WORKSHOP MONTRÉAL and the PLAYWRIGHTS GUILD OF CANADA.

Her plans for the Saari Residence include working on a first draft of her play The White Hotel, the sequel to the award-winning Strange Land, a historical epic set in Montreal in 1942, and planning new music theatre projects with acclaimed Canadian composers Abigail Richardson and Stephanie Moore.

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Photo: Nikolay Vasilev

Photo: Nikolay Vasilev

During this residency I am planning to work within the apartment at the Saari residency to explore the meeting place of my written, site-specific and dance improvisatory practices in a new solo From the Outside, In. This project explores how a nomadic body navigates the process of inhabitation in places of “foreignness”. I am interested in how both text and the body provide vehicles to communicate this process of reflecting, challenging and situating ourselves within the world. On a broader scale, how do site-specific artists address the need for mobility to sustain a career, and personally, how do I find myself ‘sited’ in a place of unfamiliarity? I am interested in how this process of inhabitation changes over time, and from site-to-site. The nomadic subject is not always in motion or fleeting – she also requires periods of rest or stasis. I am interested in “situated nomadism” as a phenomenological interaction between objects, people and spaces in real time.

During my residency I will be concentrating on the process transition from a place of foreignness to familiarity, with a central focus on the idea of home, living and working within the residence accommodation. I will be exploring the relationship between physical and written response within the confines of the apartment, blurring the boundaries between life and art. I will be reflecting on the changing dynamics of the site, and the interaction of time and space I am interested in redefining the relationship between the nomadic body and the physical site. I am interested blurring the boundaries of my practice, applying the attention and rigour of a physical practice to the written word, and questioning where the line between art and life begins and ends.


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Valle Medina & Benjamin Reynolds


Our project concentrates around the life of a contemporary citizen of Santa Barbara, California and documents his decline from a sociable and active 30-something, to a citizen whose city has removed any meaningful bodily and public interaction from his existence to the point where he feels no longer a part of it.

The work captures the spaces he imagines as a way out of such a city: at the baseball bleachers at Ortega Park on Cota Street, on the shores of Leadbetter Beach and other uncatalogued locations.

The use of digitized terrains and fragments from sites begin the project as much as theoretical discussions about the value of spaces and about what is lost (left) when a void replaces civic purpose.


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Otto Kylmälä


Otto Kylmälä is an award winning Finnish filmmaker who has studied film in Czech Republic and the UK. His latest short film, Mother (2015) was an international co-production supported by Finnish and Croatian Film Foundations, which had its international premiere at the Tampere Film Festival and is currently touring the festival circuit. At the Kone Foundation’s 2016 residency program, he will focus on writing his first feature film script Sininen kausi (Blue State).

Otto works primarily as a fiction, music video and commercial director, but he is also a film critic and an artistic director of festivals. He is the artistic director of two Finnish film festivals, Loud Silents silent film festival and Oulu Music Video Festival and he does programming and consulting for different film festivals around Europe. As a film critic he is a member of the international critics association FIPRESCI and he has served in short film and music video juries in Ireland, Finland and Norway. Recently he just received a grant to write his first film book, dealing with the relationship between music and moving image.

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Silvia Hosseini

Kuva: Riku Pihlanto

Photo: Riku Pihlanto

I am a teacher of Finnish and literature, postgraduate student of literature, and a writer with a wide-ranging interest in culture. In the Saari Residence, I will be preparing my collection of essays on literature and popular culture. In the essays, I marvel at books, movies, TV series and other cultural phenomena that fascinate despite being bad in one way or another. Why are we delighted, excited and moved by superficial, banal, boring or morally questionable works?

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Päivi Hirsiaho


I am a visual artist working with hand-crafted animation, drawing, sound art and photography. I believe in DIY; I always do everything myself, from drawing the animation to playing the guitar tracks and recording them.

Among other things, I will be working on an animated diary during my residency. I draw for my diary every day with graphite and pencil, often for several hours in one sitting. In the beginning, there is only a big pile of paper and a big pile of pencils. The subjects of the animation will only become clear during my residency, but self-portraiture will be a strong element, since I draw by looking at myself in the mirror. A few seconds of animation are completed each day. It will be exciting to see what the final work will be like after two months of intensive drawing. I will also be recording the soundtrack for the film in and around the Saari Residence and combining those sounds with guitar and electronic sounds. I will, therefore, also be creating music, which I will later turn into a demo.

I also work with photography. My photography combines drawing and nature. I use my drawings as props in my photographs. Lately, I have been taking many pictures of myself holding a drawing in front of my face. The drawings are usually the heads of animals or self-portraits.

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Virpi Haatainen


Virpi Haatainen is a playwriter from Finland.  She has won two awards for her works Irti minusta and Carelian extreme. She has written a trilogy of a women writer’s. Last of the trilogy Koska olet minun will be shown  in Espoo city theather 2016. Her passion is political history and women’s rights.

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David Frankovich

Photo: Riku Pihlanto

Photo: Riku Pihlanto

I am an artist based in Helsinki and Toronto working in performance art and experimental media. Recent concerns in my work have been bisexual erasure and invisibility. I am trying to approach these problems positively. Rather than thinking of it as a question of absence, I try to queer the notion of “presence” in performance by appropriating invisibility and erasure as the basis of a queer performance strategy.

At the Saari Residency I am continuing this work by making an invisibility cloak, to be used in performances. It will be based on the concept of the ghillie suit, a form of camouflage commonly used by hunters and snipers. I intend to subvert the violent associations of this sort of camouflage in an ironic way, using colourful and reflective materials. It will instead act more like dazzle, confusing the viewer by breaking up the shapes of the body – an appropriately “queer” strategy.


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Diina Bukareva


I am a choreographer and performer who works independently and as part of various free-form ensembles. At present, I am interested in the thematics of presenting one’s own identity. I approach the subject through the self-portraits of various artists, studying how different roles are experienced as close, distant or something in between by the audience. Lately, I have also been absorbed with chaos and undefinability; everything that defies consciousness or the logic of the mind, I find interesting.

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The Zero Gravity Company is a modern circus company established in 2010. Since its foundation, the group has been gently pushing its own limits and those of the circus arts.

The group’s latest production, IIRIS, started with workshops held in the summer of 2015, in which the director Reija Tapaninen wanted to try creating a circus performance through improvised exercises. After the workshops, 17 circus artists signed up for the project. The collective is complemented by sound designer Joonas Pehrsson, costume designer Annika Saloranta and lighting designer Anniina Veijalainen.

The themes and dramaturgical structure of IIRIS revolve around the T. S. Eliot poem The Hollow Men (1925). The poem’s bleak depiction of the state of mankind inspired the collective to explore the question: could things be different? How?

In the Saari Residence, the collective will start its collaboration by immersing itself in group dynamics and various improvised exercises. The goal of the residency period is to create, for future residencies, guidelines on working as a group and building a performance.

The performance will premiere in Verkatehdas, Hämeenlinna on 5 May 2017.

COLLECTIVE: Reija Tapaninen, Joonas Pehrsson, Annika Saloranta, Anniina Veijalainen, Netta Lepistö, Susanna Keski-Kohtamäki, Salla Hakanpää, Elina Sirkiä, Sanni Sarlin-Takayama, Mia Silvennoinen, Satu Hakamäki, Marjukka Erälinna, Petra Lesonen, Saana Peura, Vilja Parkkinen, Lida Kuusisto, Sanna Leinonen, Helmi Lähteenmäki, Heidi  Miikki, Sara Nurminen and Vesa Purokuru

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Auto Italia


Our group residency at Saari focused on developing our ongoing project On Coping. Part residency, part research, and part public programme – the project takes its starting point from the emotional alliances and collective strategies that enable our artistic work to take place in the face of increasingly unforgiving social and economic pressures.

It’s time to work together and find new strategies. What can we learn through empathy, prophecies, tarot and speculation? What systems are available to us to hijack and redirect value? As the elite closes in, let’s create our own spaces for autonomy and creative production.

We will be showing the next stages of the project at Auto Italia’s project space in London in early 2017.

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Photo: Ulla Leppävuori

Photo: Ulla Leppävuori

Inter- and multidisciplinarity in the arts and sciences – what do they mean in practice and how can they be realised? In the Kaikki kohdat (All Points) projects, six people from different fields who met in the Saari Residence in November and December 2014 observe what can happen at the point where different forms of art intersect and possibly join. We have identified rhythm as one shared key theme. During the group’s residency, we will consider the manifold manifestations of rhythm, conceptions related to rhythm, and the relationship of rhythm to space and location. The definitions of rhythm within different art forms can be dusted off with the wind or paced with breathing; we can burrow into the rhythm of the substrata or walk in the landscape observing the sections formed by the elements and the earth’s crust.

Our six-person collective includes composer Jarkko Hartikainen, poet Irina Javne, performance artist Jenni Kokkomäki, visual artist Ulla Leppävuori, performance artist Satu Palokangas and historian Sinikka Selin.

We will present our findings to the public at the end of our two-week residency. You are warmly welcome!

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Viides sääty

Photo: Hertta Kiiski

Photo: Hertta Kiiski

Viides sääty examines the structures that underlie society

Group work was triggered by an interest in the social status of engineers and in various organisational forms and hierarchies. The first manifestation of the group’s collaboration is a backpack embroidered with the logos of local service providers, essential food products during the residence and infrastructure related to the lives of the group members.

“Instead of writing a report, we made a backpack – which is a fan product,” the working group says. “The backpack illustrates our support structures, which resemble a mycelial network and include Kone Foundation, Luontaishoitola Helmenhohde and airberlin, among others.”

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Femicomix Finland

Femicomix Finland & friends: International comics study

Together with the Chicago-based Ladydrawers comics collective and comic book author, journalist and activist Anne Elizabeth Moore, the Femicomix Finland collective has collected data on the situations of comic artists everywhere in the world. The international collective assembling in the Saari Residence is interested in how gender, sexual orientation or ethnic origin affect the livelihoods and well-being of comic artists. At the Residence, the group intends to analyse information gathered through online surveys and translate it into thought-provoking comics. The ambitious goal is to produce publication-ready material in two weeks.

The group’s Finnish members consist of comics artist and teacher Johanna Rojola, comics artist Hanna-Pirita Lehkonen and comic arts teacher and journalist Verna Kuutti. In addition to Anne Elizabeth Moore, comics artist Sheika Lugtu and producer Francis Kang will be coming to Saari from Chicago. The collective also includes Berlin-based comic artist Elke Steiner, cultural producer Katharina Brandl from Vienna and Canadian-Latvian comic artist Laura Kenins.

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Mad in Finland

Shooting for the Mad in Finland circus film started in early 2014, and the film will have its premiere in 2018. Mad in Finland is a document/fictive film about seven Finnish circus artists that presents circus life from the point of view of the artists.

The goals for the Saari Residence are to cut the film for the seven portraits of the artists and review the material shot in Finland just before the residency. The final film will then be edited from this material.

The scenes currently being edited were shot in Bremen, Germany, Calais, France, Copenhagen, Denmark, La Hactais and Langueux in French Brittany, and Matsumoto, Japan.

Due to the artistic and collective nature of the film, these scenes will be cut by seven different people in order to make each scene unique also in terms of editing. The Mad in Finland circus film will be a completely new type of cinema experience, both in terms of content and form.

The purpose of the ambitious project is to increase the public’s awareness of the realities of modern circus. The film will follow the logic of a circus performance, bringing a new perspective to the cinematographic arts. The collective editing process adds to the originality and uniqueness of this film.

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Alpo Aaltokoski Company

“What is the true nature of brotherhood? How is it reflected in us, our gestures, our bodies? The word describes camaraderie and friendship. It is also featured in the French revolutionary declaration ‘Liberty, equality, fraternity!’”, says choreographer and dance artist Alpo Aaltokoski.

Veljet (Brothers) is the working title of the Alpo Aaltokoski Company’s latest work. We came to the Saari Residence to launch the creation process of the performance. The performance, choreographed for three male dancers, will premiere in October 2017. Brothers continues the journey of exploration into motion, begun during the creation process of the Together duet that premiered in 2010  under the theme of walking together. Together is about the connection between people, the deep meanings of being together and, on the other hand, the pain of drifting apart. Dancers Ahto Koskitalo, Jouni Majaniemi and Jussi Väänänen have all danced in the Together performance: Väänänen substituted for Koskitalo when he was prevented from performing. Majaniemi has been part of the piece during the entire journey.

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Teatteri Metamorfoosi | Pulcinella

Teatteri Metamorfoosi is a Helsinki-based theatre company focusing on masked theatre. Since 2006, the Teatteriyhdistys Metamorfoosi association has been working determinedly to develop masked theatre culture and increase awareness of the art form in Finland. With the expansion of the troupe, puppetry, object theatre and theatrical clowning have taken their place beside masked theatre in the group’s forms of expression.

The core members of the Pulcinella hand puppet performance group include Teatteri Metamorfoosi members Elina Putkinen (director), Iika Hartikainen (live musician), Johanna Kultala and Riina Tikkanen (puppet handlers and masked actors). The performance is being shaped through indoor and outdoor practice and by building a puppetry booth and puppets. In addition, Commedia dell’Arte expert Davide Giovanzana will hold a mask workshop for the performers (14 h). Pulcinella’s premiere will be celebrated in the inner courtyard of the National Museum of Finland on 30 July 2016, 3 p.m.

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Kakola 2016


Kakola 2016 is a collective multi-form work of art realised in the old provincial prison of Turku. During their Saari residency, the working group plan to discovering the form and implementation method for their concept, with a planned premiere and performances at the end of October 2016.

The collective includes visual artist Kimmo Ylönen, film artists Einari Paakkanen and Antti Polojärvi, voice designer Tom Lönnqvist, dance artists Satu Rekola and Pekka Louhio, lighting designer Jussi Vesanto, poet and performance artist Jonimatti Joutsijärvi and producer Ulrika Vilke.

The work will be realised with Spearhead Project funding from the Finnish Cultural Foundation’s Varsinais-Suomi Regional Fund.

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We are at the Saari Residence to create a contemplative performance text inspired by the science of sound. Karoliina Sandström and Deborah Templeton will spend two weeks generating performance texts and scores in the beautiful natural surroundings of the Finnish countryside, whilst the third member of the team, Monty Adkins, will send sound compositions from England.

Using cymatics as an inspiration, the team are interested in exploring the physical basis of sound; particularly how sound functions in ritual and healing contexts. The process will involve contemplative approaches to sensitising perceptions of, and responses to, natural sound. The residency will allow the team to generate compositions, texts, and performance scores for development into a full performance over the next year.

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krepsko foto saariKrepsko is an international theatre group founded in Prague in 2001. During the years we have created more than 20 original performances and travelled around the world with them – now we are happy to gather together in Finland and concentrate on our new work in the Saari Residence. We will be working intensively on our coming premiere “AnnaBerthaCecilia”, a nonverbal performance based on alphabets using elements of puppetry, illusion and visual theatre. It is a project where we’ll present to the audience several small stories, one for each alphabet. These are portraits-of-a-kind of ladies and women in the most unusual situations, told by the means of striking and visually attractive theatre worlds. Our aim is to create a new part, a new alphabet, of the performance during this residence, and we are curious where the stay in Saari will lead us – usually, as it tends to, somewhere else than we originally expected!

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teater 90°


WunderKinder 2016. Photo: Marek Sabogal


At the Saari Residence, we will work on the WunderKinder performance. WunderKinder is a performance mixing design imagery and working life discourse about social climbing, despair and rebellion. The performance unravels the ecosystem of the neoliberal society, where it is impossible to distinguish work from leisure time. The work combines the problematics of the millennial generation with political analysis, by means of a modern performance.

Working group:

Manuscript: Johannes Ekholm
Director: Anni Klein
Sound design: Heidi Soidinsalo
Scenography: Laura Haapakangas and Kristian Palmu
Producer: Annina Blom
On stage: Edith Holmström, Gogo Idman, Robert Kock, Iida Kuningas, Markus Riuttu

WunderKinder is the tenth performance of teater 90°, founded in 2006. Over a period of ten years, teater 90° has created uncompromising drama of high artistic quality, based on new drama and performance texts and novel working methods. The performances have often been site-specific and held outside traditional theatre spaces.

More information about the group: WWW.TEATER90.COM

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Pie Club is a group of eight female sculptors, whose events are a mixture of community art, sculpture and performance, and sometimes a little something else.

We will gather at the Saari Residence to plan our 10th anniversary event, “Väsyneiden naisten talo” (the house of tired women). There, we will establish a temporary multidisciplinary rest home in Helsinki, which will be open for five days. The rest home will serve as a discussion, learning and meeting point for various people. As its name suggests, our rest home will provide care and food for thought for tired women. At the Saari Residence, we will prepare workshops, test materials for the event and design its overall structure. In honour of the 10th anniversary, guest artists, lecturers and workshop leaders will be invited to participate in the House of tired women.


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Manuel Contreras Vazquez

little Italy

My work at the Saari Residence is an attempt to systematization of previous experiences about relationships between different artistic languages and fields, starting in-and-through music composition. The project takes inspiration from the geographical movement, physical places and weathers, belonging axes, biographical aspects, disoriented journeys and unstable coordinates that Immigration represents, looking for potential seeds that could be transfigured by a transdisciplinary creative process.

The resulting compositions involve the completion of a new Chamber Opera, as well as a new short scene of Contemporary Musical Theatre; both will be premiered during 2016.

Nevertheless, beyond the resulting works or its presentation in concerts, the most important working key during the residence is about process.
The useful answers and the projections or outcomes for the future, either respect to my own artistic trajectory, as well as for possible contributions to the educational and cultural development of countries like Chile, could be founded by new perspectives of the production techniques, abstraction and relations between and through theoretical and practical issues.

Therefore, the project is not looking for a result, but rather than this: new roads and bridges. For the same reasons, a fundamental topic of the proposal is the interaction with other artist and disciplines, knowing and sharing their own strategies and approaches in order to looking for common aspects for interdisciplinary artistic creation.


He studied composition at the Universidad Católica de Chile with Alejandro Guarello and Pablo Aranda (1998-2002), at the Conservatorio di Milano with Alessandro Solbiati and Gabriele Manca (2006-2009), and at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with Ivan Fedele (Rome, 2008-2010).

His works have been included on CD and DVD edited by Chilean Government, Emu Films productions, San Fedele Foundation and the Fund for the Development of National Music. His scores have been published in Italy by Suvini Zerboni – Sugar Music Spa and Edizioni Sconfinarte.

He was teacher of basic composition, theory, and other subjects at Chilean universities Católica Silva Henríquez, Del Pacífico and Bolivariana. At the Universidad Católica de Chile he held assistant professorships in Music History, Latin American music and Music Audition, developing artistic projects, academic texts and until today writing in the music journal Resonancias.

His works has been performed by Sconfinarte orchestra, Magritte trio and Divertimento Ensemble (Milan), the Algoritmo ensemble (Rome), Taller de Música Contemporánea, Trio Croma and Orquesta Sinfónica de la Serena (Chile), Ensamble sXXI (Spain), MIVOS quartet (USA), Ensamble Iberoamericano and Sonic Art Saxophone quartet (Germany), as well as world class musicians such the flutist Mario Caroli, the clarinetist Paolo Beltramini, guitarrist Diego Castro and other performers of the Conservatoire de Strasbourg, the Internationalen Ferienkurse of Darmstadt, Parco della Musica (Rome), Sala Verdi of Milan, Real Academia de San Fernando (Madrid), Chapelle Saint Bernard de Montparnasse (Paris), the UNIACC University (Santiago) and Paris Conservatory, among others.

He was lecturer at the Alban Conference Grenoble Universités, at the Musikhochschule Franz Liszt Weimar, at the universities Católica de Chile and Católica Silva Henríquez in Santiago, as well as at the Estudio Modular de Música Actual, in Valparaíso. He was Resident Composer at the Spanish Academy in Rome, supported by the Spanish Government, at the International Center dés Récollets in Paris, supported by the Institut Français and at the ”La Cabaña” Center in La Paz, Bolivia, thanks to the American States Organization (Ibermúsicas program).

He has received recognitions, awards and scholarships from the Alban Program of European Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID), Institute Français (Paris), Music Founds for Culture (Santiago), Castiglioni First Prize (Milan), Luis Advis Composition Competition First Prize (Coquimbo), Spanish Society of Authors and Editors (SGAE), Chilean Government and American States Organization.

Together with his residency at Saari, upcoming activities include a new Chamber Opera with FOJI Foundation in Chile, a multimedia project for Spanish Cultural Centers around the world, as well as new compositions to be faced in Bolivia, thanks to Ibermúsicas Program and Cinenómada Foundation.

He lives and works in Vigevano, Northern Italy.

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Ishmael Falke and Sandrina Lindgren

Sandrina & Ishmael

Livsmedlet is the result of the combined ambitions of the puppetry artist and theatre director Ishmael Falke and the dancer and theatre maker Sandrina Lindgren.

Their collaboration was established in 2011 and has since then resulted in a number of performances and collaborative community projects around the world. They unite in their common interest to create relevant and innovative visual theatre works that challenge audience’s perspective of their surroundings and everyday life. Livsmedlets works are derived from a mix of dance, physical theatre, contemporary puppetry and object theatre combined with surprising and sometimes unconventional choices in storytelling, materials and working methods.

During their time at Saaren Kartano the duo aims to create a new community based performance that goes under the title Shadow Cabinet. The work is based on stories from the surrounding area , aiming to give voice to the families that once sought refuge here from the war in Karelia. Reflecting on Europe’s unability to deal with the masses of people fleeing war today we look back into our own history. In order to tell their stories we will convert street elements into characters and places animated by the lights and shadows of the night.

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Marta Fernández-Caparrós


My name is Marta Caparrós and I’m a Spanish writer based on Madrid. My first book, published in 2015, is a collection of short stories that explores human relationships in times of economic hardship.

I’m currently working in the plot of my second book, a novel provisionally called Night and Day (Día y Noche). At the Saari Residence I hope I could end the designing of the plot as well as starting the writing of the first pages. Hopefully the project would be finished by the end of 2016.

Night and Day is the story of two sisters and their entrance in the adulthood in their first thirties. The action takes place in Madrid (as well as in other Spanish cities as Valencia and Málaga) during a summer in which the two main characters would have to take important decisions about their life, as well as they would discover some secrets about their family that they have ignored.

The novel is a personal exploration about how familiar heritage is determinant in our character and how our adult relationships are influenced by the first ties that we build when we are children. Night and Day would also like to be a fiction that examines without pity the consequences of death and depression in our lives. Formally, the novel would be an experimental approach to the genre of the novel, counting on a hybrid and polyphonic technique, including classical narration, oneiric passages, personal diaries and lyrics of music bands.

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Kalle Hamm and Dzamil Kamanger

Kalle Hamm and Dzamil Kamanger. Photo: Pia Bartsch

Kalle Hamm and Dzamil Kamanger. Photo: Pia Bartsch

A work of art was commissioned from us for the VASTAAN+OTTO /RECEPTION triennial of the community arts, to be organised in May 2016. The idea came up of a community art project called Gaykätkö (Gaycache), which deals with locations in the Turku region that are significant to sexual minorities. Gaykätkö derives its shape and structure from geocaching, which has become a popular pastime for many. The work of art will be created during our residence period in March–April 2016.

In Gaykätkö, you use the GPS satellite positioning system to look for caches telling stories about sites, experiences and events of significance to the local LGBT community and hidden in various interesting locations. Gaykätkö offers varying degrees of opportunities for active participation, from the design of content to anonymous searching for and finding caches. For the execution of this work, we convened a steering group made up of prominent figures on the Turku LGBT scene.

We will send out an open invitation to the workshop – which will plan the locations of the actual caches and their contents – at the beginning of March. The workshop welcomes all residents of the Turku region for whom LGBT issues are of personal importance.  Workshop participants will act as experts on their own city and its history. The work of art will be published during the community art triennial, giving everyone the opportunity to participate in the search for caches.

Gaykätkö focusses on micro-history, the experiences of individuals, and how a specific geographical location has become relevant to the person or whole community in question. It also exposes new audiences to the arts and is a tribute to the local and universal right to participate in writing one’s own history.


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Olga Jitlina

olga portrait russian style

The works of Olga Jitlina (born in 1982 in Russia) include a number of polemical projects. In recent years, her art has addressed migration-related issues. One of her most famous and controversial works is a board game entitled The Land of Opportunity (2012), developed by the artist together with human rights activist Andrey Yakimov.

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Lotta Lounasmeri

Lotta Lounasmeri. Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

I am a media researcher, and my special interests lie in political culture and communication. At the Saari Residence, I intend to work on a manuscript about President Kekkonen and his exercise of power and leadership. The book is being produced based on collaboration between seven female researchers. The idea is to study Kekkonen, who is sometimes said to be a mythical figure, and his exercise of power from less traditional perspectives with the help of new kinds of materials, such as media materials, films, comics, folklore and anecdotes.

In my opinion, issues related to political culture change slowly, which is why it is important to understand and discuss history. The exercise of power is always inherent in politics, and it is interesting to examine how power is communicated and justified. The basis of a ruler’s power does not lie in legislation and the political system alone, but more specifically in the methods used to communicate power to those being governed Emotional communication is particularly effective.

When analysing mythical leadership, you often enter the realm of the subconscious. We need to explore this area in order to understand why Kekkonen’s character and leadership spoke so powerfully to this nation. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Kekkonen’s death. Remembering Kekkonen is more important now than ever. The cycle of history shows that similar developments repeat themselves. When examining Finnish political culture, it becomes clear that society would benefit from examining its past every now and then and the ways of thinking and acting that are still deeply rooted in us, even though we would not always like to be aware of such issues.

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Aparna Sharma


At the Saari Residence I will be editing an art documentary about indigenous weaving in India’s northeastern state of Assam. Weaving in Assam has historically been a women’s activity. However, since colonial times the practice has been declining. In my documentary, When Women Weave, I follow a weaver’s collective, Tezpur District Mahila Samiti (TDMS). TDMS works to preserve weaving by training and supporting indigenous women weavers. When Women Weave documents the methods, processes, motifs and meanings of indigenous weaving, and it explores the significance of weaving in the weavers’ everyday lives. When Women Weave has been shot over two years spanning the seasons of winter and monsoon. At the Saari residence I will experiment with editing forms to develop a structure for the film that builds on the aesthetic qualities of the weaving practices I have documented. I will also develop a short film on Finnish weaving that will accompany When Women Weave.

Aparna Sharma is a documentary filmmaker and theorist. Her films document narratives that are overlooked in the mainstream imagination of India. She is presently working in India’s northeastern region, documenting cultural practices of indigenous communities. Aparna Sharma’s films combine techniques of observational cinema with montage practice. As a film theorist she is committed to writing about cinema practices that fall outside mainstream Hindi cinema. Her book-length study, Documentary Films in India: Critical Aesthetics at Work that explores non-canonical documentary practices from India has recently been released by Palgrave Macmillan, UK. Aparna Sharma works as Assistant Professor at the Dept. of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, UCLA.


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Hanna Tuulikki

Hanna Tuulikki (photo credit Suzy Lee ATLAS arts)

Photo: Suzy Lee ATLAS arts

Artist, composer and performer Hanna Tuulikki (b.1982) works across over a range of visual and sound-based forms. She works primarily with the voice to build worlds out of sound, immersive ethereal spaces that attempt to unearth an essential relationship with the lore of places. Within performance she makes use of sculptural objects and stagings, often within an outdoor setting. Drawings, text and visual scores extend her work, illustrating subject-matter, creative process, and, sometimes, elements of narrative.

“During my Saari residency I will begin to research and develop a new site-specific composition for an ensemble of musical saw players. The project will explore the relationship between the concept of ‘the forest’ and the evolution of Finnish national identity, from a contemporary ‘eco-poetic’, ‘bioregional’, and musical perspective, focusing, in particular, on the movement from indigenous woodland to managed plantations, and the implication of this shift socially, culturally, emotionally and ecologically.

After the residency, my intention is for the composition to be performed, in a plantation that has recently been harvested. The musicians will be seated on tree stumps, their saws producing ghost-like sounds that resonate through the clearing and float off into forest.

My composition will be presented in a series of visual circular scores and these will echo the tree-rings on the stumps in the clearing. I will create the music by selecting fragments, carefully ‘harvested’ from the melodies of traditional forest-related songs. By splicing these fragments together I will create an effect akin to the generative eco-system of the ‘wild’ forest.

Bringing together different fields of practice – music, performance, visual art, ecology, land management, and folklore – the work will be rooted in place, tradition and cultural history.”

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Hugo Almeida


I am a comics artist and researcher with a previous background in the biological sciences, and a member of the art and research collective Clube do Inferno.

My work is focused on evolutionary discourse as a model to create and investigate visual narratives that fall outside dominant forms of media representation.

My project for the Saari Residence proposes to look at evolutionary discourse in popular conscience, instead of its canonical representations in scientific discourse. The appeal and power of evolution as a rhetorical device stems from the scientific respectability that it lends to a discussion. The depth of its philosophical consequences gives it a poetic power that sometimes reaches mystical overtones. This project will try to capture this poetic power, probe the belief systems that are entwined in the rhetoric of ‘evolutionary’ fictions, and address the tensions that are generated when we compare the evolutionary discourse of science and its appropriations by fiction, politics and personal beliefs.

The project will take the form of an essay-like comic book that will be drawn during the residency.

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Marianne Backlén

marianne backlén

I will be working on my novel for young adults, tentatively titled Diamantvägen (Diamond Road), at the Saari Residence. I intend to complete the manuscript by autumn 2016. The book will be published in Swedish in spring 2017, and I hope it will be translated into Finnish.

The book deals with issues related to immigration. Young people in Helsinki meet peers who have moved to Finland from Africa, particularly from Congo-Kinshasa. The main themes of my novel are young love overshadowed by racism, and the allure of diamonds, from the Buddhist Diamond Sutra to Western luxury – diamonds are a girl’s best friend – and African blood diamonds.

Other themes include social marginalisation among young people, but also idealism and a desire to help others. An African religious community helps marginalised young people with immigrant backgrounds in Helsinki. On the other hand, kindoki – a form of African witchcraft – is driving young people away from their families, even outside Congo.

Diamonds are a mythical theme in my book. A young Finnish woman, an upper-secondary school student, thinks that she has lost her mother’s expensive diamond ring, but later finds it in a leather glove. A suspicious bag full of rough diamonds changes hands among young people. An African family has shady connections to the diamond trade and raw materials trade in the electronics industry in their home country. I refer to Heart of Darkness, a novel by Joseph Conrad published in 1899, when Europeans traded in ivory and natural rubber. I want to bring themes related to colonialism into a present-day context.

My intention is to write a novel that discusses topical issues at the individual level, but also deals with timeless themes. Then again, it is also possible that the focuses of my book will change over the next six months. Not all young people are interested in politics; many are much more interested in civic activism. They want to live life on their own terms and create a culture of their own – a new, more open Finland –while others are critical of immigration. Through my literary work, I want to discuss diversity in Finland, build bridges and address delicate issues, such as cultural conflicts.

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Daniel McKay

I am a literature researcher, working primarily in the areas of American fiction writing, Asian American literature, New Zealand literature, postcolonial literatures, and the literature of the Second World War in the Pacific.  I often find myself working on source material, topics, or historical moments that have long been considered marginal, neglected, or sometimes forgotten outright by the majority of a national population.  Examples here would include the first time that South African writers visited Japan, the internment of civilian Japanese in the South Pacific during the Second World War, or the representation of atomic holocaust.  I have also worked to publish literary histories of neglected genres, such as the prisoner-of-war novel, or novels that depict American servicemen in Australia and New Zealand.

The common threads that bind my work together are, most obviously, a focus upon the Asia-Pacific region; an ethical imperative to place different literary & historical traditions in conversation; and a desire to tease out the less obvious perspectives within a given text.  I greatly enjoy communicating these findings to students and colleagues, as well as setting myself the challenge of placing work in scholarly journals and, on occasion, literary / scholarly magazines.  If you see me with my nose buried in a novel, don’t make the mistake of assuming that this is break time.  There’s a high chance that I’m engaged in a session of literary criticism or otherwise judging whether a given work would be worth researching in more detail.

Interested?  Ready for the next step?  A free-to-download example of my work can be accessed through the following URL:

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Lluvia1 copy

Gabriela has a variety of experience in theatre, circus and opera. She finished her studies at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) based on Jacques Lecoq’s pedagogy, following a 2-year postgraduate course and a year course at the School of Physical Theatre in London.

In 2009 she co-founded the company CLOWN ME IN with fellow colleague Sabine Choucair (Lebanon) and has worked as a volunteer with Clowns Without Borders USA since 2011.

She has given clown and storytelling workshops all around Mexico, in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Sweden, Colombia, Phillipines, England and NY City.

She was part of the documentary “A Fool‘s Idea” by Emmy award winner Brian Bernhard in NY 2009.
In 2010, she created “Perhaps Perhaps Quizás”, her first clown show which she has performed in Mexico and various countries around the world (Mexico, UK, Spain, France, Sweden, NY, Colombia, Brazil and Georgia).

In February 2015, with the support of EFI TEATRO, INBA and Co-Productions she premiered her second creation, “Limbo”, in Mexico City.

Limbo has been performed at Teatro Milan and Teatro de la Ciudad Esperanza Iris in collaboration with Latin Grammy winner Natalia Lafourcade.

LIMBO, a clown show in three acts.

This is the second approach I’ll be having to this show I wrote, directed and performed in. It was created as a big production in February 2015 in Mexico City with the help of the INBA / EFI TEATRO grant where I had a season of 30 shows in Teatro Milan. My aim now is to make it a show with which I can travel and move easily. Going from a big production into a small (economised) version that is still as effective as the other one. I want to go back to the base and to be able to make it a handmade show, as it’s a very personal journey, I want to go back to the core of it and find its heart again.

LIMBO is a journey into a parallel world between the living and the dead, an imaginary world that is also very real.

With clowning I’ve discovered there are no borders, no gender, religion, social status not even a language, we share the basic, we feel, we suffer, we laugh, we feel scared, we want to love and be loved in return. My work focuses on that possibility. I have therefore tried to work in as many places as possible, trying to prove this principle. I have performed in many countries where cultures and “differences” merge and are added to adjust and adapt my work in order for it to have a real impact and it has shown me that despite our condition, we still try to create a bridge of empathy, I do it through clowning, a bridge of compassion and a reminder that humanity is in desperate need of feeling again. I wish to be able to work on LIMBO in another place where the provocations push the boundaries of the senses, of physical consciousness.


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Tatu Pohjavirta


Tatu Pohjavirta (born 1977) is a Helsinki-based animation artist. Since graduating from Turku Arts Academy in 2001, he has worked as a director, producer and teacher. He is best known for his puppet animations Looking Glass and Animal and his joint projects with Mark Ståhle. His animations have been featured in numerous international film festivals around the world. In addition to films, he is involved in installation and performance art. His works have been exhibited in Finland, St Petersburg in Russia, Tallinn in Estonia and Birmingham in the United Kingdom, among other places.

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Kaisa Salmi

Kuva: Pirre Naukkarinen

Kuva: Pirre Naukkarinen

Kaisa Salmi (born1968) is a Helsinki-based artist known for her environmental, performance, video and community art. Her works deal with themes related to society, politics and social aspects of life. Many of her works turn into community art through spontaneous or invited audience participation.

In spring 2013, she directed Fellman’s Field – A Living Monument of 22,000 People, a large-scale work of performance art, and the documentary Fellman’s Field in Lahti. These also constituted her doctoral project. Around 10,000 people participated in this award-winning work. The documentary has been shown at many museums and is included in the collections of Kiasma in Helsinki.

At the Saari Residence, she will continue her work on the theme of the Civil War in a larger context. She intends to complete Sovinto (Reconciliation), an exhibition and a new artistic platform for museums, which will be customised to each location by means of installation and performance art and other forms of art. Two entrances – a red door and a white door – will offer new perspectives on traumatic events in Finnish history in a spirit of reconciliation. She will also direct a documentary about the events. At the Saari Residence, Salmi will collect local personal histories and prepare the doors for the events, taking her inspiration from old local doors.

Salmi has an MA in Environmental Art and an MA in Lighting Design. She is studying towards a doctorate at the Aalto University School of Science and Technology.

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Outi Sippola


I’m a puppet theatre artist from Piikkiö.

I have worked with various puppetry ensembles in Finland and abroad. My most recent projects include Romeo and Juliet, a joint project of Tehdas Teatteri and Aura of Puppets in Turku, and Sisu Is in the Heart, a work of community art by the American Park Cofield. In addition to creating my own artistic work, I serve as a member of the artistic committee of the Turku International Puppetry Festival (TIP).

At the Saari Residence, I will be writing a book about puppet theatre, a guide for adult audiences. It is intended to provide spectators with tools for truly understanding and enjoying modern puppetry.

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Martta Tuomaala


Photo: Johannes Valkonen

I’m a multidisciplinary artist (Master of Arts) living and working in Helsinki. I focus on various forms of film, video and installation. My artistic practice involves also socially engaged art and militant research. Common themes in my artworks are workers’ everyday life, the struggles of different individuals and communities, and ‘divide and conquer’ tactics. I’m also a big fan of long monologues, harangues and manifestos.


Finn-Spinning-Soumi-Perkele! deals with Finnishness – the culture, the language and the generalised ideas of the so-called Finnish identity during a 45-minute virtual spinning (indoor

cycling) class. The artist is the instructor and the viewer is able to participate in the multi-disciplinary spectacle by riding an indoor bicycle.

The video resembles basic workout programmes, in that it includes ten rhythmic rap songs and workout instructions. It is also a tragi-comedy, one woman’s gritty protest against the all-male austerity politics in Finland today. The virtual fitness programme with its pumping sound and rap music consists of more or less moralistic lectures, wallowing in self-pity, and self-esteem boosting in an embarrassing manner.

The main elements of the script are the words of the spinning instructor/artist, and the background music with its radical lyrics. The music will be produced in collaboration with rap artist LeppäKerttuTerttu and musician Julius Valve. The script is a dialogue between the instructor and the lyrics with several different themes (e.g. obesity, nationalism, relations between the neighbouring countries etc.). The instructor is all over the place: spouting her own monologues, interfering with the lyrics by shouting, and also singing along once in a while.

The final installation contains a 45-minute video of a spinning class projected onto the wall, with stereo sound and 1–4 spinning bicycles that enable the viewer(s) to take part in the work out. There will be mirrors on both sides of the projection, which is a typical set-up in today’s workout classes – the person is able to see their own movements.

There will be two separate versions of the work – gallery and theatre versions.


I’m currently writing the script here at the Saari Residence, and will also soon start testing the structure of the fitness programme and parts of the script in practice, by riding a spinning bicycle.

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