Welcome all to this exciting seminar on European collaboration organized by CIMO! I’ll be talking about UP TO NATURE and A SPACE FOR LIVE ART – amazing experiences and projects that I’ve had the privilege to have been part of.
Insanely busy days filled with thinking and writing about place, space and urban planning (finally sent off the essay!), trying to finalize the ANTI 2013 programme, the CEO course, my upcoming new work, applying travel grants to be able to be on a seriously exciting panel at PSI#19 in Stanford, US in the summer and getting ready for my Iisalmi-Helsinki-Brussels-Chigaco-New York-Kuopio journey that starts tomorrow!
So it’s all about work, day and night, 7 days a week.
It’s about art, research, places and spaces.
Packing and unpacking.
I feel tired but inspired.
I don’t think I can ever travel anywhere without thinking of Doreen Massey and Panu Lehtovuori.
Is it too much to travel with four pairs of shoes and three handbags?
If you weren’t at ANTI, here’s a documentary of the 2011 festival in two parts done by M2hz.net. And if you were there, here’s your chance to refresh your memories and remember how great it was! And it was great. I miss it all so much.
All photos by Pekka Mäkinen.
Today I gave a talk about A Space for Live Art and UP TO NATURE EU funded projects in Joensuu. My talk was part of the Taiteen, kulttuurin ja luovien alojen rahoituspäivä, translating roughly ‘funding of arts, culture and creative industries’. Sounds terrible but it was quite inspiring actually. Riikka Leskinen from Cimo talked about the EU Culture Programme 2007-2013 and then I gave practical information about our projects, how we got involved in them and what is the everyday like managing the projects. It was also great to see Mari Karikoski from the Arts council of Finland and Hanna Susitaival from the regional arts council of Pohjois-Karjala.
Now I’m on my way back to Kuopio, proofreading (for the hundredth time) the upcoming ANTIVERSARY book. But it should go to print today! Hurray. Ahhh, the ANTI Festival is coming up veeerrryyyyyy soon and I’m beginning to feel the excitement…
This week I’ve been already in Jyväskylä so it’s been a rather challenging week in terms of exercising. I’ve had rehearsals of Acts of Clothing as I’m performing it soon in Jyväskylä, had a Pilates class and yesterday Zumba. Tomorrow I’m back to studio with Acts of… and will have functional training sessions both on Friday and Saturday. And on most days I’ve cycled to work. So should be a pretty good week, enough aerobic and strength training.
Last week I got a -20% reduction coupon for Sokos’s beauty week and I’m now wondering if this would be the time to get the new Lancome eyeshadow… I really like the Doll Eyes Baby Pop….hmmm.
Last week was so great as Gregg was visiting Kuopio, we worked long, intense days, had meetings and then spent a couple of days in Helsinki doing the same with our ANTI team – myself, Gregg and Laura. Hard work but inspiring! I like it. We also saw some performances in Kuopio and Helsinki. With Gregg we have a pattern of seeing the most horrible performances together in Finland…and this time it was sort of like that again. We saw one very terrible work and another one which wasn’t bad but just so not what we are interested in in Art. Anyway, it was good to see them as they brought up a lot of thoughts about art in society, the kind of audiences that we are trying to reach thru our work etc etc. But I was very lucky to see a really great performance Talk to me with Laura on Saturday night in Pannuhalli. I was so happy, so inspired intellectually and artistically, it really returned by faith in contemporary performance. And that is great.
On Saturday afternoon I had a meeting with Satu in Minna Parikka’s boutique in Bulevardi and we tried practically every pair of shoes in the shop! Great fun. Unfortunately, the A/W collection wasn’t out yet so I had to settle into a pair of Acacias which were on sale, -50%. So that was a bargain. We also checked out Nanso and Marimekko…and sinned. Terrible!
On Sunday I finally got to meet my friend Maija and her newborn daughter. She was so beautiful, they both were! Hope I get to meet them soon again.
This week flew by so quickly as we have been working on the final corrections of the ANTIVERSARY book, written several grant applications etc. On Friday I finally got my hands on with ANTI Festival’s financial report of A Space for Live Art 2010… It will be so much work…and it always takes forever! Well, I do get some strange pleasure from Excel…
I’ve had a pretty nice training rhythm doing Kinesis, Pilates and Functional training and warming up Acts of Clothing. It was funny – yesterday I met a woman in Functional studios who asked after our functional training class that why do I look so familiar… Well, it turned out that she had seen my Acts of Clothing a year ago in Helsinki in the Ateneum theatre – and had liked it a lot. Small world.
I had the luxury of visiting London and Brussels last week. First we worked two days in London with the ANTI Festival’s core team; me, Laura and Gregg. We are so used to Skype and email that it felt so luxurious to actually be in the same physical space. And we accomplished so much! There are a million big & small details to discuss and decide with the festival programme which we are hoping to launch in the end of the month or in the beginning on June. So I was so pleased with our meeting. Very useful. And it was great to see Gregg, sniff the air of London a little bit and see my friends’ house for the first time. Inspiring!
Gregg pointing out that he’s having tea while me & Laura are enjoying something else…
We were there just a day before the royal wedding so I had to buy a Will & Kate T-shirt. When I was buying it on Oxford Street, I got interviewed for French TV. They asked me why I bought it and I said because it’s so kitsch. Probably not the right answer! We also had a lovely dinner in a wonderful tapas place with Laura in Soho. By the way, if you are in London, check out FrenchMottershead’s photographic exhibition in the Photographers’ Gallery. Saw some images before they went to print and they looked very intriguing.
From London we took the Eurostar to Brussels. It was my first time on Eurostar and I was amazed how quick and easy it is! Less than two hours and you are in Brussels. It feels like a miracle comparing to Finland where it takes four hours for me to get even to Helsinki….
In Brussels we had A Space for Live Art project meeting with all the partners. The meeting was during the Trouble Festival so evenings we spent watching works. Rosie Dennis was doing her Downtown project there and it was great to see her working in a different context, different city and language. She performed in Les Halles but I must say that I really preferred her shows in Kuopio as they were not hidden in some art space. Also the work of Mitch & Parry was great.
We had a wonderful time with Laura. The weather was great, +23 degrees and we enjoyed the city a lot. On Saturday afternoon we had a little time to pop into the city centre for shopping. I brought Laura to the Pierre Marcolini chocolate shop… I didn’t remember how amazing the chocolate really is! It blows your mind. Laura will probably hate me forever for bringing her to the Cora Kemperman shop…where we both did some shopping. Again we had wonderful tapas and on Sunday just amazing mussels in La Pré Salé. Oooh. Unforgettable.
La Pré Salé:
1st of May:
Laura’s Belgian waffle:
This week has been hard trying to adjust to the normal rhythm. Every time I’m away and then come back home, I feel that so much work has piled up I don’t know where to start. But I’ve been happy cycling, going to Zumba and getting my energy flowing. Tomorrow I’m looking forward to Functional Training with Pipsa and on Saturday a Zumba marathon with Outi! Yeah.
These last weeks have been very busy with the upcoming ANTI Festival. This is the time when we need to make final decisions about the programme, confirm sites, think about all kinds of details in terms of artists, sites, how audiences move between the works and sites etc. etc. And this year is of course special as it is the 10th anniversary of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival. Later during the spring we will let you know about the plans we’ll have for this special edition of ANTI. So stay tuned! In the meantime, make sure you’ll visit our Facebook page to hear the latest news and keep with the upcoming campaigns!
I’ve been preparing a new collaboration with Rebecca French from FrenchMottershead. We’ll begin to work in June when Rebecca comes to Kuopio and although there’s a million things to sort out and do before that, I’m still looking forward to it all soooo much.
Later in April I’ll visit Brussels as we have A Space for Live Art project meeting during the Trouble Festival. I’ll be travelling with ANTI Festival’s producer Laura and we’ll also work a couple of days in London with Gregg.
Last weeks have been great for cycling in Kuopio! The snow has melted away from the streets so no need to worry about the icy roads anymore. I’m so in love with my new bike and the Ortlieb back panniers. So useful and beautiful! The only downfall is that the roads haven’t been cleaned up yet and it can be pretty dusty riding down the streets. But it still feels great!
Last week has been so freezing in Kuopio, all over Finland I guess. The days are gorgeous though – bright, sunny and the landscape is covered by tons of snow but it’s sooooo cold. A couple of hours in the afternoon feel pretty ok after the sun has been shining all morning but as soon as it goes down again, the cold hits really hard. So it hasn’t been a real pleasure to spend much time exercising outdoors although I’ve done a few Nordic walks.
Since I came back from Australia, I’ve been getting back to my normal routines. The last three weeks I’ve exercised pretty intensively at the Functional studio and really enjoyed myself! Lots of Kinesis and Functional training but also Zumba, for the first time in my life! I’ve missed so much aerobic exercise that I was quite miserable until I realized that the Zumba classes work at least as well as a run. And it’s so much fun to dance and sweat to the holiday rhythms of calypso, salsa and reggae!
Do you remember when I wrote last autumn that I want a hybrid bicycle? Well, I’ve just bought one! Yes, it’s a bit crazy but I’ve thought about it so much that I’m convinced that this was a good investment. The sad thing is that it has been so cold that is has been practically impossible to ride much but I’ve done a few short tests and I love it! My bicycle is Merida S-Presso 700 with hydraulic disc brakes, beautiful matt black and sleek design.
Now that I have the bike, I realize that I also should have all kinds of gears to be able to take full advantage of it but I have to take it slow. I can’t possibly buy a whole set of wind stopper cloths, gloves, cycling bags and shoes etc. all at once! I’ve bought a helmet, for the first time in my life, and that’s pretty much what I can afford at the moment. But to be able to cycle to work on a regular basis, I need to get these Ortlieb panniers. I really love the white line!
Some of you know that I’ve started to work with the support of the Arts Council of Finland’s three year artist grant in January. This year I will not be producing any new performances or shows but I’m doing a lot of research as well as touring and performing Twirling World and Acts of Clothing. I’m working on an international collaboration with Rebecca French from FrenchMottershead and I’m very very excited about it! The downfall has been that I haven’t been able to raise much funding for the project which is to premiere in 2012 and not this year. I find it rather disturbing and I’m not really sure how to proceed with the project. We’ve got 2 000 € from the Regional arts council of North Savo but you might be able to imagine that it isn’t much of anything for an international collaboration. So we’ll see how that goes and what the rest of the foundations say.
Tomorrow I start rehearsing Twirling World with Sonja and we have shows coming up in Kuopio in March. I’m a bit scared to return to that work which as a performer, was quite challenging for me. So I’ll see how I feel next week.
I’ve been also really really shocked by the City of Kuopio cutting ANTI Festival’s funding. We have a tenth anniversary of the festival and a lot of special programme planned to celebrate that in the city of Kuopio, a book coming up by a national publisher and the fourth year of A Space for Live Art project going on. So WTF???? I don’t really know what to think.