Mindscapes & (city)landscapes in Prague

Wow. It has been an hectic week with a lot of action, problems, mishaps, hospitals, thunderstorms, communication issues, lost keys and thefts but also a week of sunshine, encounters, amazement, inspiration and five beautiful performances here in Prague. The Prague Quadrennial is still going on until the 16th of June, but our performances are done for this event. We will have a seminar talk about the performance on the 13th of June as a part of a seminar for all the Finnish participants.

It has been very interesting to see how the performance has changed in the city landscape. First of all it was quite hard to find a place to perform, since there aren’t so many options in the city. As I’ve written before the camera needs to be placed so that the lense is facing north, and there should be enough room for the performance too, not to mention permissions and other activities going on in the citys public space. Important was also that the place itself holds some significance as a performance area. Finally we settled for the northern tip of Střelecký Ostrov – an island in the middle of Vltava with a view facing the famous Charles bridge.

The biggest difference however compared to the landscapes in Finland has been the people. During our tour in Finland the presence of humans in the landscape came solely from us and the audience. Now when we performed in the park the image was full of people just sitting, standing, walking, lying down and otherwise using the public room for leisure or other activities. This changes very much how the performers are seen in the landscape, not anymore like something alien, but more of something else entirely. This, I believe, creates also some disturbance and turbulence inside the camera when the audience has a harder time to figure out who is the performer and who isn’t. The gentle presence of humans in the landscape is changed to a situation where the human presence is a given parameter – a part of the scener from the very minute it starts taking over the landscape entirely.

This creates an interesting line of though for me, which actually is a very suitable continuum on the previous perfomances in Finland. When moving from wilderness to a city it becomes also very evident (in the preformance perspective) how humans are affecting and taking over more and more space. This is of course a huge issue on the global scale too as our population growth is putting even more pressure on the planetary boundaries. So in this sense the performance in the heart of Prague was a great next step.

The presence of humans in the landscape and our stage created also a small problem with the choreography and our performers. The intensity of the stage work changes entirely when the areas outside the camera image (where the performers prepare and are off stage) doesn’t exist anymore. It was also surprisingly hard to keep the performance area open so that the performance could be realised without walking over anyones picknick.

The walking meditation through the citys busiest tourist streets was an very interesting experience that many in the audience loved a lot. They had never experienced the crowds without the overwhelming noise so it was an literally eyeopening experience for many. I also found it very special to start the performance with a walk through a city instead of a forest or other landscape. It didn’t trigger that much my feeling of my steps on the ground but gave me time to smell, look and feel a lot more of what was going on around me. Simultaneously my breathing calmed me down in the crowded streets which made me almost enjoy the tourist masses.

Here are a few images of from our performance.

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Here we are in Prague

Here we are in a very sunny and warm Prague! We arrived yesterday and I think we all agree on that the first impression of the city is very positive indeed!
Right now we are checking up on a few things at the Finnish National Exhibition curated by KOKIMO collective and planning for the rest of the week. Our stuff has arrived and all is good, but a few things (although important) needs still to be confirmed for our first performance on friday 7.6.2019. We also checked and decided on the starting spot for our performance right in the heart of Prague! Hopefully our audience finds us and we have as wonderful weather in the weekend as it is now!

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The Industrial Palace, a beautiful old building!

PQ 19 Preparations

This week we have been preparing our performance for the Prague Quadrennial that will take place in June this year. We are all very excited, it’s going to be great to do the performance again in an totally new environment and for a new audience.

The preparations have been going on all year but this week was the first when we finally dusted off (almost) all the equipment and worked outside. Everything is still not ready and working, but we’re getting there, and the spirit in the group is very nice.

The Finnish national exhibition is curated by Kokimo-collective and is called Fluid Stages.

Next week the works are going to be displayed in Helsinki at Kallio Stage in an pop-up exhibition that will be open on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Our performance will be live and running on monday afternoon when we do a run-through. Then on Tuesday and Thursday we will be showing some video material from the tour we did in 2017.

I would to thank here Svenska Kulturfonden, Taiteen Edistämiskeskus and Frame Contemporary for the financial aid in this endeavour. It would not be possible without your grants. Thank you!

News for 2019

It has been a while since this page has been updated. However, there’s more to come during next year for Mindscapes Landscapes. Our production will be performed next June at Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. It’s the world’s largest event in the field of scenography and performance design and Mindscapes Landscapes will be a part of the Finnish pavilion curated by Finnish performance art group KOKIMO.

We are all super excited about this opportunity and are looking forward to be a part of the event. This spring we will continue on the work with the piece and how to set it up in a totally new environment, the cityscape.

This blog will also now be shifting to english to make it easier for international readers to follow.
More information about rehearsals and how it is going will be posted here during the spring.
Photos will also be posted on our instagram account @mindscapeslandscapes so check that out too if you’re interested.

On behalf of the whole working group,
Happy New Year!

 

10/10 Suomenlinna

Mindscapes Landscapes teoksen (toistaiseksi) viimeiset esitykset olivat lauantaina 26.8 ja kiertue on näin tullut hienoon päätökseen. Suomenlinnan hienoilta saarilta löysimme esityspaikan jossa oli sekä korkeuseroa että ympärillä kaunis merimaisema jossa sotahistoria näkyi. Suomenlinna on meidän esitysmaisemista eniten ihmisen muokkaama muureineen ja linnoituksineen ja ihmisen muokkaamaa maisemaa oli kuvassa yllin kyllin. Lisäksi saarilla asuu myös ihmisiä ja turistejakin on paljon joten siinäkin mielessä Suomenlinna oli esityspaikkana erilainen aikaisempiin verrattuna. Paikkamme oli kuitenkin harvinaisen rauhallinen tähän nähden, ja saimme rauhassa lämmitellä ja esittää teosta kahdelle loppuunmyydylle katsomolle. Kiertueen lopun kruunasivat taivaalla räiskyvät ilotulitukset Helsingin toiselta puolelta. Siihen oli hyvä päättää kiertue. Nyt on seuraavana vuorossa dokumentaation parissa työskentelyä josta varmasti tulee jotain päivityksiä myös tänne. Mietimme myös työryhmän kanssa mikäli teosta tultaisiin esittämään vielä uudestaan joko Suomessa tai ulkomailla, jännittävää nähdä saako teos jatkoa. Ja mikäli kiinnostusta löytyy kutsua teos vierailemaan, niin siitä vaan kutsua laittamaan, tulemme mielellämme.

Kiitos kaikille teille teoksen katsojille ja ihmisille joita tapasimme kiertueen aikana! On ollut mahtavaa päästä näkemään niitä kaikkia erilaisia maastoja ja maisemia mitä pohjoisen ja etelän väliin mahtuu. Teoksen tekeminen on ollut minulle sukellus monenlaisiin työkuviin joista olen oppinut paljon. Nyt on aika miettiä oikein että mitä tässä on oikein tullut tehtyä ja keskittyä myös muihin näyttely ja musiikkiprojekteihin. Nöyrin kiitos.