The starting point for this issue was our shared interest in the process of condensation and in the possibilities of combining two art forms; poetry and performance art. We invited six poets to write an event score to be performed. The poets Silja Järventausta, Karri Kokko, Harry Salmenniemi, Elsa Tölli, Suvi Valli and Taneli Leonora Viljanen responded to our invitation. We then invited six performance artists to finalize these scores. The artists Harold Hejazi, Helinä Hukkataival, artist duo Kainulainen & Latva, Katriina Kettunen, Maija Mustonen and Pasi Mäkelä performed their interpretations of scores for the camera.
The texts we received from the poets were perhaps surprisingly extensive, if you compare them with the scarcity of the tradition of the event scores by Fluxus. They provided the performance artists plenty of room and alternate ways to create a relationship with the text. And to create an outcome that would fit best to the platform and limitations we gave: digital video of 1-3 minutes to be published on a website. Task of the performance artists was to summarize some of the texts and the interpretation that they thought were essential or resonated with them.
We can say that we were quite satisfied not only with the assignment we gave but also the works that were sent to us. Of course, the assignment could have been carried out the other way around; first invite the performance artists to make the score or performance they want, after which the poets would write a score or a poem based on it. Due to the format of the publication, it was of course clear that we would focus here on the performances made for the camera, but it would be interesting to see a live performance of these as well. Maybe there is an opening for further projects here.
Besides the scores we invited three artists to make a performance lecture with the theme ‘condensation’. We didn’t want to define the theme too much, only the time frame was settled, max 10 minutes. However, during the process the theme seemed to expand and in the end it’s only one way to read works by Robin Deacon, Niko Hallikainen and Ieke Trinks. Robin Deacon’s work centres around loss and the role technology plays in the way we remember. Niko Hallikainen provides a literary autopsy of a poem addressing the way intertextuality and referentiality enable condensing information in a poem. Ieke Trinks’s work, based on live performance peruses the opposition of present – away in both spatial, visual and auditory means.
The scores were written in Finnish and translated by Ville Luoma-Aho (expect Suvi Valli’s score). In the end of each score you can find a blue link to the original Finnish version. Here is Silja’s Silja Järventausta_fin
The issue is done in a collaboration with New Performance Turku Biennale.
Virpi Vairinen, Leena Kela and Pilvi Porkola