PERFORMANCE AS METHODOLOGY
Performing artists often use and create different methods for their own work. If artistic practice is extended to the reach of the audience, performance itself can contain and offer a method or even a methodology.
12 etudes on everlasting life (2010) was a series of twelve performances that searched for twelve ways to practice an eternal life. Every month during 2010 I worked for 3 uninterrupted days (and nights) with another artist. In the jargon of music, an etude stands for a composition that is both a technical excersise and an art piece. Each time a new etude was be performed, and a way to practice not dying was created and written down. The etudes suggest approaches to life that extend beyond death, and a collection of ways to practice the impossible, or at least the unknown and abundantly hopeful. I collected the practices into a publication, Manual of Everlasting Life (2011, the english version 2013).
Children as authorities (2012-) is a study on the use of power by children. What kind of a reality would children create, if it was in their power? Starting form this question and from the medium of performance, we created an artistic-pedagogical methodology for educational purposes. Educationally, we aim to liberate people from oppression; to enable adults to work with children within the question of power; to create structures for continual reflection and recreation of power structures of the society; to educate generations that have the ability to read and evaluate the use of power. Artistically we are interested in the paradoxes of power and the often-taken-for-granted position of children in our world.
The methodology was created through a series of performative workshops held in kindergartens and schools. Different versions of the workshop have been held to groups of different age and nature: in kindergartens, lower and upper elementary schools, high schools and for special groups of disabled or dyslexic children. We have also held workshops for teachers and published the methodology as a book, Children as Authorities – Teacher’s Guide (2014).
Etude photos: Jan Ahlstedt, Heikki Palomaa, Tuomas Laitinen
Children as Authorities photos: Tuomas Laitinen