PERFORMANCE AS SELF-INQUIRY
Self-inquiry is a reflective way to experience a performance.
Hence performances can serve as imaginative experiments in the realm of consciousness practices.
Renunciation (2008) was a performance in the form of a retreat. The location was an old wooden villa, in the premises of which the audience lived 13 hours of performative time. The performance started before sunset and ended after sunrise. During this time both social and private everyday actions – eating, washing up, sleeping etc. – blended into the performance.
A retreat is a performative setting answering to the human need to know oneself. The detachment from the patterns, rhythms and environments of ordinary life create a space of reflection. In Renunciation, an artistic form of this withdrawal took the participants stage by stage deeper into their own inner worlds and into a contemplation of their aesthetic, ethical and spiritual relation to the external reality.
Art Prison (2014-) studies ascetic alternatives to an artist residency. The project borrows the model for residency directly from prison. Through this Art Prison experiments with performance spaces that are based on isolation, reduction of stimulus and asceticism, aimed to empower the artists and increase their creativity.
If the frame of retreat refers to a voluntary and spiritual way of making time for oneself, the frame of prison suggests a way of forcing time on another. Art Prison gives the paradoxical suggestion of being forced into following ones own desires and needs, which are habitually neglected.
Renunciation photos: Jan Ahlstedt
Art Prison photos: Tuomas Laitinen & Janne Pellinen