How to Do Things with Performance in São Paulo?

iftr-2017

The research group participated in the IFTR conference Unstable Geographies: Multiple Theatricalities 10.-14.7.2017 in São Paulo, Brazil.

On Tuesday 11th July 11.7. Tero Nauha, Annette Arlander ja Hanna Järvinen had a panel titled  ”Performance Philosophy”.

Tero Nauha: The Unstable ’Fictioning’ in Performance and Philosophy.

Annette Arlander: How to Do Things by Performing with Plants?

Hanna Järvinen: On the Historical Materiality of Performance, Past and Present.

My paper was on Thursday:  Library Essays – from Representations of Space to Performative Space. Beside of that I had a performance installation The Nomad Library in the yard of the University on Wednesday.

With Tero and Annette we also participated in the “Performance as Research” working group meetings. There were 20-30 artistic researchers from all over the world. The idea of the working group was to share methods of practice as research by doing. The following images are from the working group meetings and from the curated panel “Performance as Research” which was quite performative as well.

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Photos: Pilvi Porkola and Elisa Band

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Accessing Performance at Research Pavilion 17-18.5.2017, Venice

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Programme

A workshop, a seminar, performances and screenings addressing accessibility and performance, performing materiality past and present, as well as technology and mediation of performance. Organised by “How to do things with performance?” research project with Tero Nauha, Pilvi
Porkola, Hanna Järvinen, and Annette Arlander.

Wed 17.5.2017
10-12 Open Workshop of Writing ( Järvinen & Porkola)

(12-14 Lunch break)

14-16 Seminar, part 1
Annette Arlander: How to do things with performance?
Hanna Järvinen: From Document to Performance to Document to
Performance to — What?
Tero Nauha: Superposition of performance?
Pilvi Porkola: The Library Essays – between different spaces
Discussion

(16-18 break)

18-21 Performances and screenings
Tero Nauha: A thought of performance?
Pilvi Porkola: Fragments of Library Essays
Annette Arlander: Annette Arlander: Animal Years I (2003-2009)

Thu 18.5.2017
10-12 Open Workshop (Arlander & Nauha)

(12-14 Lunch break)

14-16 Seminar, part 2
Annette Arlander: How to do things with documentation?
Hanna Järvinen: From Document to Performance to Document to
Performance to — What? (a re-performance of yesterday’s performance)
Tero Nauha: Performance thinking.
Pilvi Porkola: Presentation of the online magazine ICE HOLE – Live Art
Journal.
Discussion

(16-18 break)

18-21 Performances and screenings
Tero Nauha: A thought of performance?
Pilvi Porkola: Fragments of Library Essays
Annette Arlander: Animal Years II (2010-2014)

Welcome!

 

 

Lentämisen alkeet

Tutkimukseni ”Esitys ja instituutiot” kouluun sijoittuvien projektien ensimmäinen osa oli TOTEM-teatterille käsikirjoittamani ja ohjaamani 6-12 vuotiaille suunnattu luentoesitys Lentämisen alkeet – esitys lentämisen arvoituksesta ja supersankaruudesta.  Esityksessä koululle saapuu kaksi luennoitsijaa, joilla on hallussaan tietoa lentämisestä. Luennoitsijat havainnollistavat lentämistä fyysisten harjoitteiden ja erilaisten esineiden, kuten hiustenkuivaajan ja muovipussien avulla. Lopuksi alkaa sataa ja luennoitsijoista paljastuu uusia puolia.

Tutkimuksen kehyksessä tässä projektissa minua kiinnostivat erityisesti performanssi esityksen lähtökohtana, scoret (eli toimintakäsikirjoitukset) ja luentoesitys kouluympäristössä. Mitä tapahtuu, kun otetaan opetusympäristöstä tuttu muoto (luennoiminen) esityksen rakenteeksi ja yhdistetään siihen esityksellisiä elementtejä? Miten scoret toimivat esityksen rakenteena? Esitystä ei ole tehty pedagogiaa ajatellen, vaan taiteellisista lähtökohdista käsin, mutta silti voi miettiä millaista oppimistapaa/opetustapaa esitys ehdottaa? Miten opettaa jotain absurdia?

Taiteellisessa tutkimuksessa keskeistä on prosessi. Omasta tekemisen prosessista oli kiinnostavaa havaita, että vaikka taiteilija- minää ja tutkija-minää ei voikaan erottaa toisistaan, taiteilija haluaa välillä eri asioita kuin tutkija. Taiteilija haluaa jotain vähän villiä, ehdottomasti jotain absurdia, ei halua lyödä kaikkea lukkoon ja tietää, että joskus ele tai asenne esityksessä kertoo paljon enemmän kuin parikymmentä sivua tekstiä. Tutkija miettii, miten kirjoittaa ne parikymmentä sivua, kenen ajattelijoiden tai tekstien kanssa keskustelisi. Tutkijalle projektissa on aina ihan liikaa asioita, kaikesta ei voi kirjoittaa vaan tutkijan pitää valita ja rajata. Tutkija on aina vähän huolissaan ja tarvitsee kaikkeen paljon aikaa.

 

Lentämisen alkeet – esitys lentämisen arvoituksesta ja supersankaruudesta kiertueella alakouluissa 2017.

Tarkemmat esitystiedot:

http://www.totemteatteri.com/ohjelmisto.html

Pilvi Porkola Totemin blogissa ”Mikä on luentoesitys?”

http://www.totemteatteri.com/blogi

Anneli Tuominen-Halomon esityskritiikki Länisväylässä:

http://www.lansivayla.fi/artikkeli/477340-totem-teatteri-vie-lentotunnille

Maria Säkön esityskritiikki Helsingin Sanomissa:

http://www.hs.fi/kulttuuri/art-2000005144484.html

 

 

Performance Artist’s Workbook – Call for exercises

There are not too many books about teaching performance art – some people may even say performance art can’t be taught. We believe performance art can be taught, at least by encouraging people to practice. For this reason, we are working on a book project entitled The Performance Artist’s Workbook which focuses on performance art practice via exercises. The aim is to collect 100 performance art exercises from 100 artists. Would you like to take part in this?

There will be two parts to the book; the first includes a few longer articles about teaching performance art. The second part consists of 100 performance art exercises. The book is done in collaboration with Live Art and Performance Studies (Theatre Academy of Uniarts Helsinki) and the New Performance Turku festival. It will be published by Uniarts Helsinki. The book is part of the artistic research project How To Do Things with Performance and is edited by Pilvi Porkola. The book will be published also as an open access version.

If you would like to join, please

  1. Write down one performance art exercise. If you like you can also add a few thoughts about teaching performance art (optional).     Altogether the text should be max 350 words.
  1. Write a short bio of yourself (max 3 sentences).
  2. NOTE, this is important:  The publisher expects contracts so we cannot accept any texts without contracts. Please write to paworkbook@gmail.com and the contract will be send to you.
  3. Please send your text and the filled contract to paworkbook@gmail.com

The deadline is 15th February 2017.

Unfortunately we are not able to pay for your text, but your name will be mentioned in the book and you will receive a copy.

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

We hope to hear from you!

Kirjastoesseet – lisäesitykset

Pilvi Porkola: Kirjastoesseet, osa 1. “Norsut piirretään usein luonnollista kokoaan pienempinä”

Maunulan vanhassa kirjastossa, Suursuonlaita 6

ke 11.1. ja to 12.1.2017 klo 18-19.30

Ks tarkemmat tapahtumatiedot http://www.uniarts.fi/tapahtumat/01122016-0952/pilvi-porkola-kirjastoesseet-osa-1

Mikäli et pääse paikalle voit myös kuunnella esseen täältä: https://soundcloud.com/user-414549664/kirjastoessee-versio-3

 

TULOSSA:

 

 

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Pilvi Porkola:
Kirjastoesseet, osa 1.
“Norsut piirretään usein luonnollista kokoaan pienempinä”
Kuunnelma ja installaatio.

Kuunnelmamuotoisessa esseessä kuvitellaan kirjasto, joka muuttaessaan on jättänyt jälkeensä tyhjän tilan. Esseessä pohditaan kirjoittamisen syntyä maailmanhistoriassa, kirjaston merkitystä ja kuvittelemisen voimaa. Kaunokirjallisuudesta ja historiankirjoituksesta lainatut ajatukset sekoittuvat henkilökohtaisiin muistoihin isästä, joka kerran tanssi kirjastossa.

Kesto n. 30 min.
To 15.12. 2016 klo 18 ja 18.45.
To 12.1..2017 klo 18 ja 18.45
Paikka: Maunulan vanha kirjasto

Katso tarkemmat tapahtumatiedot

https://www.facebook.com/events/927541490710953/

 

What is ‘esitys’?

My presentation in Kick off 4th Oct (without images).

Kick off -seminaarissa pitämäni esitelmä (ilman esityksessä näytettyjä kuvia).

WHAT IS ’ESITYS’?

My research in the project How to do things with performance is about performance and institutions, in other words how to understand the performative turn in certain public institutions such as a library, elementary school and an art museum. Moreover, it is about how to explore this turn from the perspective of artistic research. I have just started the project so I don’t have much to say about it yet. I’m therefore not going to talk about my project here, but I will spend a bit of time contemplating the Finnish word ‘esitys’, which in the context of performance studies and art is translated as ‘performance’.

It feels quite tricky for me to do this, for a number of reasons: firstly I’m neither a linguist nor a translator. I’m going to do this in English, well aware of my limits in the English language. I also wonder if trying to explain Finnish language nuances is interesting for English-speakers at all, and IF it is interesting for those who speak Finnish, why do this in English… And most of all, because this all is just a very tricky thing. But here we are, and may be the complexity is the whole point, let’s see.

Among other things, I have been working with Esitys magazine for 10 years now. In one of the very early magazines from 2008, artist Tuomas Laitinen wrote about the term ‘esitys’ like this:

“The Finnish word for performance, Esitys, is a good name for a magazine, as it describes well the happening to which it refers. The word originates from an ancient root esi, which expresses a relative position, i.e. a position in relation to another. In performances this relative position refers to how the receiver is related to the artist. The artist displays something in front of the receiver. For the artist a performance consists of both being on display (esilläolo) and pre-experiencing (esikokeminen). Similarly the most performative part of sing-along-happenings is the fore singer, who presents the model of the proceedings, while the rest take part by following that model. The English word performance on the other hand refers to executing something, bringing it through a form (per + form). The word demonstrates how the artist brings something through a form in order for it to be available for the receiver. Both Finnish and English terms leave a lot of room for what will actually happen.”

In daily life we rarely ask what words really mean, or where they come from; we take words mostly for granted. The context is pretty much part of our communication with words, as Derrida has noted. Lately I have noticed this importance of context well in social media such as Facebook. For me, Facebook doesn’t always carry the contexts of the discussions and statements and sometimes I find it very difficult to understand sarcasm or humour there, even when I know the people and the way they talk.

The Finnish word ‘esitys’ is, at any rate, somehow more constricted than the word performance. When I teach performance studies in Finnish I need to spend time explaining the difference between ‘esitys’ and ‘performance’, because the word ‘esitys’ doesn’t carry same meanings and connotations that performance does. The use of the word is just different. ‘Esitys’ is more indicative of the concept of representation or something which is constructed, in other words something that is staged. For example, the word ‘esitys’ doesn’t include meanings of sport or business or technology. So for students it’s sometimes hard as there is so much information anyway, and then you say that here we use the words a bit differently.

When you take a look at the meaning of ‘esitys’ in different Finnish dictionaries, it will give you Finnish meanings but also references to other languages, with words like:

presentation, proposal, rendition, show or representation

In the online dictionary you will get the word performance as well, but when I checked the books, which are a bit older, the word performance was not included.

Anyone who has worked with translating has of course noted this:

Riina Maukola translated Marvin Carlson’s A Performance – Critical introduction to Finnish in 2005. She noted the problems of translation and the wide concept of the word esitys. Still, having a background in theatre and perhaps also because there was a debate on the word ‘esitystaide’, (live art) going on in Finland at the time, she was struggling more with questions of definition and the borders of art forms; how to understand these terms in a local context with the local history. I think the title of the book tells something as well, you need two words and still you won’t get it all; ‘Esitys ja performanssi’. ‘

The title also shows another challenge we have: we do have the word performanssi, so why don’t we translate performance to performanssi? Well, in everyday use the Finnish word performanssi often means just performance art. In the academic context, the word performanssi is also used to mean performance. E.g. art historian Helena Erkkilä, whose 2008 research is about Finnish performance and body art from a psychoanalytical perspective,translates the word performance consistently to performanssi, so she is much more loyal to the roots of the word in that way. She doesn’t take it for granted but notes that the word performance can be translated to many words, like esitys, toiminta, suoritus and that the concept itself is very wide..

Richard Schechner’s Performance Studies. Introduction. was just translated to Finnish in 2016. I think it’s beautifully translated if you think in terms of intelligibility, which is, of course, the point of translation. Still, as you can see, performance studies is not performanssitutkimus but esitystutkimus. The translator of the book, Sarianna Silvonen, remarks on the problems of translating wordplays and multiple meanings of word performance and the concept of performance studies, which are not stable in the Finnish environment. She also comments on the complexity of translating words like play and act.

In her preface to Schechner’s book,  Annette Arlander points out the multiple meanings of the word ‘esitys’: often the word ‘esitys’ refers to representation, pretending or proposing something, but not really to fulfill, execute, actualise or do something. She suggests we could use the words ‘esitys’ and ‘performanssi’ concurrently. Further she ponders that because of these nuances in the Finnish word ‘esitys’, performance studies in Finland might get some local colour and end up going in new directions.

Conclusion

My conclusion is that when we work in the field of performance studies in Finnish, we need to broaden and extend the meaning of the word ‘esitys’. The language is in flux all the time for sure, but I think it’s different when language is transformed in daily life as opposed to when the impulse for transformation comes from an academic context. Actually, this is what I think I do when I teach performance studies in Finnish, I try to broaden the word.  Anyway, these things take time and let’s see how things are after ten or twenty years.

We also need to be aware that translating is a political act. For example, even though Schechner’s Performance Studies is trying to talk and create space for others as well, I find it very America-centred and we need to ask what performance studies are in a Finnish context, in Finnish, eli mitä esitystutkimus on suomeksi, suomalaisessa kontekstissa tänä päivänä, millä tavalla se voisi purkaa tämän päivän suomalaista yhteiskuntaa, viitata niihin ajattelijoihin jotka ovat tässä ympäristössä relevantteja, suhtautua kriittisesti kulttuuri-imperialismiin, ja ymmärtää miten sanat ja käsitteet toimivat paikallisesti.

Englannin kieli otetaan annettuna, erityisesti akateemisessa kontekstissa. Esimerkiksi tällä viikolla tämän puheen lisäksi pidän luennon ja esiinnyn festivaaleilla, Suomessa, englanniksi.

Kulttuuri-imperialismia Suomessa lietsoo voimakas stereotypia siitä, miten me olemme edelleen eristäytyneitä ja kansainvälisyys on edelleen kova sana täällä. Tämä on toki paljolti myös totta, mutta minusta on sääli, jos se tarkoittaa sitä, että akateemiset tekstit kirjoitetaan vain englanniksi, tai jos käsitteille ei pyritä kehittämään suomalaisia vastineita. Toisin sanoen,  jos me lakkaamme ajattelemasta suomeksi. Tämä kieli on kirjoitettuna nuori, joten arkoittaako se sitä, että imperialistinen englanti syö sen kohta kokonaan. Tällaisena aikana, kun ääriliikkeet ovat väkivaltaisesti omineet suomalaisuuteen/paikallisuuteen liittyviä käsitteitä, on haastavaa käydä edes keskustelua siitä, mitä paikallisuus jollain alalla voisi tarkoittaa, ettei keskustelu paikallisuudesta ja sen merkityksestä ala  heti kantaa mukanaan  vastakkainasettelua tai nationalistista diskurssia. No, tarkoitus ei ollut lähteä vetämään tähän tällaista esitystutkimuksen snellmanilaista linjaa, mutta erityisesti akateemisessa kontekstissa tämä on asia, joka helposti unohtuu ja jonka poliittisuus myös unohtuu.

Everything is in English, be aware.