Teemu Mäki is looking forward to blind dates and surprising encounters

Artist, doctor of fine arts, Teemu Mäki (b. 1967) works on arts, politics and philosophy using a variety of tools. The result is often visual arts, theatre, literature or theory on the topic.
Photo: Otto-Ville Väätäinen

It is great to be welcomed to the Saari Residence, as I long for peace for working and stimuli at the same time.

I must say I have pretty good peace and quiet also at home and in my study in Kaapeli, Helsinki, but working in a foreign environment is always better for me, as I will be detached from the obligations of home and family. In a way, there are plenty more inspirations at home and in my study than anywhere else, as there I live surrounded by my work and all the raw material I have collected, amidst my collections of books, films and albums. In this sense, the residency also means an opportunity for some level of asceticism. With only a few belongings with me and a previously unseen environment, it is easier to concentrate on writing, for example. I will not even need that much stimuli, as I will take even the scarce ones more seriously and with more value in an ascetic environment.

I plan to work on two books at the Saari Residence, one of which will be poems and the other essays. The book of poems will be my fourth collection. Published by Like and Into. The book of essays will be a continuation of my former dissertation, Darkness Visible — Essays on Art, Philosophy and Politics (Kuva/Like/WSOY 2005/2008).

In addition to concentrating on the literary work, I expect two things from the residency. First, I expect that the countryside surrounding the residence and wandering in it will be a great source of joy and inspiration for me. Second, I like the blind date aspect involved in the residence concept: I won’t know in advance which other fellows will be there with me at the same time. I believe it will be surprising, challenging and fun together with them.”


 

TEEMU MÄKI

Artist, director, writer and researcher. Defended his doctoral thesis on visual arts in 2005.

He has worked as a free artist since 1990, 2008–2013 excluded, at which time he worked as a professor of visual arts at Aalto University.

“My work always involves arts, politics and philosophy. The means change, but the fun goes on. The results of what I do usually become some sort of visual art, theatre, literature, film or theory. For me, fine arts are the greatest form of philosophy. They are the most flexible, versatile and comprehensive form of philosophy and politics.

I have had 51 private exhibitions and participated in more than 200 joint ones. I have written six books. And written six plays and directed seven.”