Helsinki Performance Art Symposium offers a glimpse into the range of performance art created in our city. The symposium is composed of a string of performance contributions from participating artists. Each in their own way, the artists take turns to comment on social matters, open up their inner worlds and ponder on some eternal questions of a universal nature, but also dissect performance art itself – the state and shape of it in the Helsinki of the 2020s.
Artists taking part in the symposium include Ilkka Sariola, Tomasz Szrama, Irma Optimisti, Sara Kovamäki, Heikki Mäntymaa, Timo Viialainen, Vili Nissinen, Inari Virmakoski and Maija Kivi.
The event was initiated by Maximilian Latva, Joonas Jokiranta and Katri Kainulainen who in the spirit of the symposium also all contribute with their own performances. Antti Ahonen, a photographer specialized in documenting performance art, is also part of the team.
Detailed information TBA. The program is subject to change.
There will be no ticket sale. The audience is welcome to drop in and to leave whenever it suits them.
Content warning: Some of the performances include nudity and/or other elements that may be disturbing to some viewers.
In recent years, internationally-minded artists from Helsinki have zigzagged across the world, meeting each other less frequently as a result. The local audience is left unaware of the work of artists from its hometown, indeed unaware of what Helsinkian performance art is.
While the idea of this symposium was born before the outbreak of the pandemic, the current situation seems to further emphasize the necessity of local work and small-scale festivals. Performance art is intimate by nature and at its best at down-to-earth events – it requires no grand spectacle as a breeding ground.
We could well have composed a week-long program with the performance artists based in our capital, and far from all of the good performers fit into this symposium.
The program we have put together includes different ways of creating performance art: movement, speech, silence, participatory as well as introverted performances and quick-paced as well as serene and violent pieces. We were particularly interested in including a wide range of participants of varying ages, meaning that some of them have grown into artists drawing from the sources the others once created.