performance art festival



What is a community? What could it be? How can art form and reform communities?

In 2014 I curated the oldest performance art festival of the Nordic region, AMORPH!. It focused on community performances created in dialogue between the festival artists and chosen communities. The collaborational projects between artists and communities are often controversial: the artists can dominate communities with their ideas or be subordinate to their expectations. How not to compromise neither the communal nor artistic values in a creative process? How to accommodate the contingent contents of art within the realities of communal needs and vice versa?

Amorph!14 brought together ten artists and eight communities into a process of collaboration. The festival artists and communities were Ieke Trinks (Netherlands) & one family, Gianluigi Biagini (Finland/Italy) & Helsinki-based African immigrants, Charli Clark (Finland/UK) & Steve Maher (Finland/Ireland) & male-voice choir Könsikkäät, Juli Reinartz (Sweden/Germany) & the ecosystem of the Winter Garden, Essi Kausalainen (Finland) & maintenance workers of STARA, Mari Keski-Korsu (Finland) & Juli Reinartz & the celebrators of the Last party and Shawn Chua (Singapore) & letter-writers.

In the evenings the festival extended to three clubs: My Dads Strip Club at Madhouse, Festival opening and Sound Bank Publication Club at Lava-klubi and The Last Party at MUU Gallery. In addition the program included video screenings, a seminar organized in co-operation with the Mother’s Tongue -festival and an ArtBus with different themes touring between the venues of the festival.

As a prequel to the festival, Moving in – a workshop for artists on the practices of community performance through the gentle art of reclaiming and subverting public space – was held on the 18th-21st of August. It was led by the performance artist Ange Taggart (UK) from My Dads Strip Club. Artists participating in the workshop worked together with the residents of the new under-construction district of Kalasatama in Helsinki.

Read the PROCESS BLOG of the festival artists.