In addition to rigorously working on academic and artistic curriculum of the Live Art and Performance Studies programme, Tea Andreoletti, Minerva Juolahti, Fjolla Hoxha, Suvi Tuominen and Dasha Che have been producing their own artistic work at festivals, conferences, in galleries and public spaces during the time of their studies.
In November 2020 Tea Andreoletti, also trained as a hydro-sommelier, co-authored a performative interactive walk called Encountering Taste at ANTI Festival. Encountering taste was a field excursion to a wild water source close to the city centre of Kuopio and a collaboration with the performance artist and synthetic mineral waters maker Eero Yli-Vakkuri. The artists asked, can we experience the city through its taste? Water is extremely reactive. Its composition changes when it comes in contact with gasses in the atmosphere, the humus, soil and human-made structures. The taste of water is a documentation of the encounters that the water has with different minerals, materials and contexts.
Sound performance maker Minerva Juolahti presented the remembering by translating solo piece at LAPSODY Paramatter performance festival in September 2020. The performance took place on a boat during the festival. It started when the boat left the harbour and ended when the boat reached the centre. The piece examined remembering as a corporeal translation, a transition between points in space. How to translate distance, how to translate a movement. Remembering by translating in four parts: sound, line, word, motion. The sound piece that is part of the performance can be listened to here.
In November 2020, Juolahti performed the seison metsässä sound performance at Luukki forest during a musical forest excursion organised by Tulkinnanvaraista experimental music concert series. The performance studies the sensation of standing in a forest through human voice that is forced into a generative system of looping.
In her work as a performance artist Fjolla Hoxha, has been working with satire, theatricality, glitch and memories while addressing profound subjects such as environmental crisis, dictatorships and war. Her Shaving the Planet piece initially created during the artistic practice workshop with the Finnish artist Essi Kausalainen, deals with toxicity and eradication of wilderness. The planet comes to a beauty parlor where the audience is placed in front of mirrors as beauty salon customers, waiting in line to get their shaving done. While Fjolla performs a shaving, using all kinds of beauty products, she communicates with the audience through the mirror, asking them for suggestions about the shaving and hairstyle for the planet. There is a very strong referral to geo-political imperialism and questioning of environmental exploitation.
In her ongoing collaborative multimedia work The Missing Torch Fjolla researches time-space traps and identity politics in a collaboration with Nashville based video artist and performer Dylan Simon aka the Borderlander. The Missing Torch explores the concept of Yugo-nostalgia, felt by the people who live in what is known today as Western Balkans. Fjolla’s departure point for this project was the deconstruction of this romanticizing of the past through looking at its aftermath and how that affected a shift towards neoliberalism in the previous socialist territory. This video performance is fostered through the creation of the character of the Adult Pioneer who lives in a hologram, trapped between analog spaces, believing she lives in Yugoslavia and is a pioneer and that of the Travel Agent who promotes war territories as tourist attractions.
A trained archaeologist, a dancer and a multimedia artist, Suvi Tuominen developed Audactiv, a durational performance where her focus is on archaeologies of pre-digital bodies as a part of the Creative (un)makings: Disruptions in Art/Archaeology at Santo Tirso Museum of Contemporary Sculpture curated by Doug Bailey and Sara Navarro in March 2020. Audactiv digs deeper into the (un)making of carnal, archaeological, and other material bodies. In the performance these bodies co-create a choreography that disrupts the time-space dimensions of a museum in novel ways. In this way, the performance challenges the conception of archaeological bodies (both human and inanimate) as static traces or representations of the past. Suvi also contributed to an art/archaeology publication made from the exhibition.
Dasha Che, a gender nonbinary dance and visual artist explores estrangement and queer intimacy in their ongoing performance work Future Parts: What Happens When It Stops. Based in three countries simultaneously, living three different lines, while not being able to follow any of them in full capacity, Dasha looks deeply into the ever-changing closeness and distance to un/familiar places and objects through the epic story of Pac Man. This work is a maze of movements and thoughts on object to self, object to object relationships, agency, misfires and in/complete connections while living in precariousness and losses of the contemporary world. Future Parts performance was first shown at Exhibition Lab gallery as a part of the Language of Belonging collective exhibition in February 2020 and then performed again in Kauppatori, Helsinki, at LAPSODY Paramatter performance festival in September 2020.
In a video performance work Monument to Shitty Affects of Now featured at the Thessaloniki Queer Art Festival (to find the video and the performative text scroll down) in the summer of 2020, Dasha explored “shitty and whiny” feelings of a weak body that could not collect itself anymore during th pandemic isolation and precarity.
The LAPS students have also formed collaborations, whether temporary and lasting for the duration of an art piece or more permanent ones. For instance, Suvi Tuominen and Dasha Che started working as a duet in November of 2019 united by their inquiry about artists labor conditions, aesthetics and intimacies with objects.
Their ongoing project Sinking in the Time of Neoliberal Work Conditions looks deeply into the ecologies of neoliberal work conditions that take over and occupy the sites of performance actualization such as bodies and institutional fields. In the time of the global crisis artists are still pulled to compete and prove their worth through a rigorous artistic response to the pandemic, and become resourceful, purposeful and efficient. Sinking into procrastination, drifting and withdrawal is not seen as a meaningful response in the current times. In their work Suvi and Dasha are exploring what can come out when rigor and purposefulness are put aside, and current states of uncertainty and confusion are lured in.
Check out the interview with Tuominen and Che Duo conducted during their stay at the summer art residency at HIAP (Helsinki International Artist Programme).
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