Joined the “Paikan tuntu – Kohtaamisia unohdetuissa tiloissa” book lauch at the Orion movie theatre. Antti Möller who edited the near 200 page book hosted the event. He invited artists and people who had partisipated in various events of the three year long “Paikan tuntu” project on stage. The project and the event are organized by the Union for Rural Culture and Education and the book published be their sister organization Maanhenki. Möller interviewed myself and Hanna Johansson newly appointed Professor of Contemporary Art Research of the from the University of the Arts about how the role of artists has changed. Johansson has written a short text on the matter for the book. Her text is a cry for more serious strategies for cultural organisations and more challenging artworks (But it’s disguised as a celebration of the “Paikan tuntu” project).
Möller invited Marjo Priha on stage in behalf of the Helsinki Zoo organisation and asked her how had the artworks (made at the zoo over the course of the three year project by some 150 artists) had effected the site. She replied that she had come to understand that: “The skill of looking at things you don’t understand is skill which is best trough artworks” #ॐ. After the talks we watched video documentations of the project on the theatres big screen. My short about Päivi Allonen looked good and the audio worked too. It was zoomed to 4:3 size but served well. This was the first time I got to see my Panasonic GH3 footage I had shot on a big screen! With proper color grading it would serve even better.
Bought 100% cotton jeans and I have to learn how to stretch them.
Interesting text about the political-body-building in dance “Expressed in Fits” by Rachel Elizabeth Jones: “[…] the everyday traumas of racism, classism, and sexism live, at least in part, in the body; and the physical release of that trauma through dance is redemptive”.
Grey Cube Gallery documentations are completed! Fixed the Italian-to-Finnish translations with Viivi yesterday and send my final invoice to the Union for Rural Culture and Education. My favorite artist presentations was by Päivi Allonen and I also enjoyed taking with the Helsinki Zoo staff. During the summer Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen collectives residency documentations were cancelled but I’m overall satisfied with the project.
A lot of interesting ideas concerning the relations of animals and public institutions came up during the Zoo staff interviews but these complex talks didn’t make the final cut. I’ve written some down under the tag “Animals in the City“. The idea that the sites primarily goal is to build awareness of animals as individuals was build up through director Sanna Hellström interview. The Bear Castles that hosted the art exhibitions and events are now left unused and if someone is interested in presenting stuff there they should contact Katri Houtbeckers from the Zoo.
Helsinki Zoo staff and festival documentations:
I’ll meet up with the Union for Rural Culture and Education on the 26th for the “Paikan tuntu” book launch at the movie theater Orion. I was interviewed for the book by Antti Möller.
Visited “Suburbia – Lähiöperformansseja” exhibition by Antti Ahonen and Katri Kainulainen over the weekend. Came too late for Siiri Nevalaises after party piece but got to hear KOELSE drone noises. Many of the exhibition pieces were faux performance documentations and there was a tad too much repetition (Some photos from the exhibition available online). The photos mimicked street fashion looks and presented a hardcore-nostalgic view to the suburbs. Katri and her friend posed semi-nude in rough concrete surroundings. Unfortunately the contemporary fashion industry produces heaps of similar (and even more disturbing) imagery and styles present in the exhibition came off as rip-off’s of Vice magazine covers.
The fashion industry has appropriated the visual cues of performance art! The disturbing documentations such as Carolee Schneemann’s “Interior Scroll” (1975) has been normalized trough Vice magazines commercial interests in the niche and the perv’s. The best way to rebel against these processes is to produce documentations which look boring!
Had an interesting chat concerning photography workflow with Antti. His archive on flickr is packed with performance art, street art etc. event documentations and artworks. The huge cultural heritage collection he has build has been made intuitively. He does not “waste time” with color correction (he’s colorblind) and he trusts the camera’s/computers automatic sensory. This approach alleviates stress and enables him to take on performance documentation gigs rapidly.
Sometimes the winning move is to renouce the fight. #ॐ