The Other in the space of An-Other
28 APRIL to 15 MAY
Opening at 4 pm on April 28
Artistic presentation of his MA thesis
Workshop oriented Performance in the aspect of public anatomy by which he means: making and doing something with the public. The tools of intervention, interaction, anticipation, perception and the sense of community. Making the people perform and looking into the aspects of a mutual understanding also possible through any kind of Art form. The question of the existence of ‘the Other’ in the space of ‘An-Other’ formed into an important area of his work. His own status as an outsider and the notion of intermingling through performances and actions in a foreign land is an important thing to observe for him, more in the line of a hyphen rather than a slash. In this context he means a possible approach towards the intermingling of the locals and immigrant settlers. He is presently completing his MA in Live Arts and Performance Studies from TEAK, Helsinki.
From 29 April to 15 May
Exhibition with durational approach of intervention. He will exhibit the organic elements of communication which will evolve as a duet between written words and drawings, while interacting with the participants, viewers and participatory observers. Apart from innovative interaction that happens with the viewers, there will also be an approach to explore the anti-art elements. The classical Fluxus text will be explored in a duet form as one of the interacting strategies with the viewers. Many issues can evolve while interacting with the viewers on the level of social, political and cultural planes. The exhibition can also come out as a dialogical performance and the documentation will be mostly in manuscript form.
From May 3rd to May 15th he will be fasting, which in a way is a continuation from his first durational work done in the year 2008 in Helsinki. Exploring the passage of “Then” and “Now” in this Foreign Land. The documentation of this 14-day process will be exhibited as the aftermath in Helsinki on the 24th of May at TEAK, Studio 2.
Poster Design – Tara Niemiö
Photo – Davide Pavone
Concept for the Poster – Perfo Fartistsuva
OPENING DAY OF THE WORSHOP ORIENTED PERFORMANCE 28 APRIL SATURDAY
Attended by the Examiner – Roi Vaara
Supervisor – Leena Rouhiainen
The opening of the exhibition started with a workshop questioning the aspect of communication concentrating on codes,symbols and verbal performance. Before the workshop took place Simo Laihonen and Suvi Kaukonen ( Suvi Hujan-Hujan) created a welcoming atmosphere by creating an acoustic soundscape with their music. It was a lucky sunny spring day although it was bit chilly in the morning time. I blocked the main entrance with two white string borders and made the people enter through a web site specific installation made of threads on two rows of bushes and I placed the log drum just facing the make shift entrance. I started to perform the action of security check while inviting the people cordially in the beginning. The workshop started soon after Roi Vaara arrived.
I started with a punny explanation of old system of communication done by the tribes (specifically the North-East Indian tribes), passing the code messages through drum beats on the log drum. This was the first step of the workshop where I invited the people to examine the effect of question and answer and least concentrating on the rhythmical aspect of drumming. Four participants performed the task and at the same time I started to decode the strokes. I found out that the aspect of rhythm is faintly existing even in their abstract strokes. They did apply abstraction on their code communication and played with the approach of complication in communication. After they performed I demonstrated the drum codes which were originally used while passing the message around.
The second step of the workshop was to explore the pictographic approach towards communication. I started by giving the participants some hints based on Cave drawings or even creating a self pictographic scripts or alphabets. The participants were placed in groups or as a pair and started communicating with pictographic approach. The notion of looking into a pictographic dialogical approach.
The third step took shape as a verbal performance. The task was to tell a short story in one’s language and others to grasp the sense of the story without any translation done and by scribing or drawing. Five languages including Finnish were performed and others took part in recording them in whatever script or drawing they can. As mostly there were majority of same language people ( Finnish) so one person represented by doing the verbal performance.
The idea of this workshop is to examine the otherness through the medium of instructions other then any known language ( English language as we generally and universally use to communicate) The medium of instruction in the form of codes, symbols,auditory perception of sound and visual perception of gestures. An attempt to also explore what was the means of communication where a community can come up, in this juncture rather the sense of community with certain duration in hand. A little trial to come across The Other in the space of An-Other. For example, I wonder how a bunch of kids from different community or ethnic groups communicate when a refined language is not developed within and in them? I wonder how animals responds to each other when the sound vibration differs? How do they react? The sense perception. As we go on climbing the ladder of refinement ( Re-Finement) how we go on losing the sense perception of being connected? These are the questions I think, very much necessary to ponder.
( I will come back to the questions and pondering of these points that I am going through soon on this text below.)
The workshop took place on the Hirvitalo Pispalan Nykytaiteen Keskus yard. There was also a natural drink refreshment for the people- Birch tree sap. After the workshop I made the people enter the inside space of the gallery where my Exhibition is on display. I asked an exhibition fee from every participants, who are now shifted from the role of performers to viewers. The fee was their thumb impression on paper done with the wet-used-tea leafs from my own soil. While entering,the right extreme corner along with the side of the facing wall, there is a display of images from my 3 days street intervention (23, 24 and 26 April). The left faced wall was filled up with text and the facing wall on the left side displayed with the manuscript text. On the ground I placed an installation of a paper carpet of an enlarged passport pages made out of 24 prints A3 size. A red woollen spindle placed towards the ceiling, indicating a pendulum pointed to the passport carpet. A sleeping bag and a yoga mat, hung at the facing window. The symbolic representation in this installation is very much tampering the issues that I am dealing with, the makeshift structure of my life, existence and work.
The opposite wall had an envelope inserted with Fluxus Score rolls. A display of the aftermath of the opening day workshop oriented performance on the right hand wall. The prospect of placing the fluxus scores was to allow the viewers to come out of their comfort zone and perform the scores. Lot of the interactions were happening through dialogues with the viewers of how they face and anticipate the exhibition space.
Image reference from my gallery page :-
The following days after the opening of the Exhibition I started my fast from 3rd of May and continued till 15th of May, the day my exhibition ended at Hirvitalo. Why is it so important for me to keep the fast for almost two weeks? Yes,this question needs to be answered. On my earlier works that involved performances back in India, I used to Fast most often. Most of my performances, those days were ritual oriented. Rituals as we know, has the secular and sacred sides. On August 2008 I was doing a durational work at Töölö, Helsinki in the Mutaageni gallery of Erki Pirtola. The title of the exhibition was “7 days in exotic ways”. there was no ritual involved but I started to fast all these 7 days during the exhibition time. Was it because of health one needs to fast or is there some sacred rituals involved? Many answers may arise here to find a particular reason. For me, it is more to see how my being responds to the issues that are involved in particular presentation or expression. Fasting for me is a way to examine a passage between Being and Becoming. It gives me is the ability to observe my self and the Otherness of me, the point where and how my energy responds to my interaction with the people I communicate as well.
9th of May I felicitated a discussion where five people participated. The theme of the discussion was “The Other in the space of An-Other questioning Immigrants and immigration”. Almost four people including me were the Immigrants present and two were local citizens, in the discussion . Another interesting thing to note was that, how a sincere discussion can happen in a more cosy alternative hub apart from the conference room situation where everybody appear as a straight jacket in their being. Rather everybody here was relaxed and at the same time took the whole discussion passing through the problematic aspects of the questions of the other.
11th of May I arranged a Musical Intervention. Jazz musician – Simo Laihonen and myself started anticipating each other’s sound and we experimented to bring forth an acoustic sound scape. Simo entered quite in a deep trance-like state while we were in the musical excursion. After the musical venture, he mentioned that the exhibition space with such visuals increased the mood of the moment that we both experienced. There were two other local musicians in the evening towards the end.
13th & 14th of May there were few kids exploring the exhibition space, I gave them some drawing papers, without any task involved, and the outcome of their works were in good contrast to the workshop pictographs done by the elders. A grown up with a rational mind takes more time to decide for even a simple scribble, whereas for infants a free expression is effortless.
24h of May -TEAK Studio 2
One day documentation -Exhibition started sharply at 1 PM. The exhibition took place in the white space. The left side wall from the entrance had images of the workshop and exhibition image documentation (which took place in Hirvitalo Pispala Contemporary Art Center , 28 April – 15 May), followed with two hour durations video materials with the documentation of the happening from 28 April to 15 May (running in loops). The right side wall had two screens depicting the process that leads to my Thesis topic- The Other in the space of An-Other. both the sides were diagonally segmented by acoustic sound device resembling an instrument or kind, left for people’s perception, placed on a red carpet. The red carpet adjoined to an ID Passport carpet in the form of a scroll. The red carpet and the scroll connected to a self portrait filled with texts. Above the scroll a red spindle is hanged to the ceiling, attached to a wooden harness used for the horses. This device signifies and symbolises the time and duration (emphasising – What is the next decision…..). Copies of manuscript with the used tea leafs on a round wall clock frame was installed near the facing wall from the entrance. The images and text of my street intervention, scribed with after-thoughts of the intervention displayed on the wall near the entrance. The inner space of the white studio was also filled with an ongoing sound scape rendered from the live tracks of of my bands :-
WAVES AND RIDGES
Simo Laihonen :- Flutes, Voice and percussions
Suva:- Voice and percussions
Frankie shannon :- Echo & Sound controller and Mixer.
Suva:- Voice and Drums
Followed by Guest Musicians of this band:-
Sami Maalas – Saw, thumb piano
Jarmo – Birch bark horn, Thumb piano.
image reference from my gallery link:-
Text body displayed on the wall near the entrance of studio 2
Description of the street intervention images
23, 24 & 26 April I did a street interventions in the central parts of Tampere. My attire bearing the Finn-Product symbol and a figure drawn with arm bands (referring to Perusuomalaiset Political party blog comment), attached to a broom on a cardboard. On the very first day I was attacked by some drunk holiday mongers. Unfortunately Mikko Lipiäinen, who was documenting the action missed the scene completely. That day the city of Tampere witnessed the first sunny day of spring season. On the second day there were no further attacks and on the other hand it was interesting to observe the passive reactions of the people, exercising their inevitable gaze by being concerned of their CAREFULL eyes taken into a carefree zone. Third day appeared the same except facing the the challenge of drizzling chilly weather. Coming back to the obstruction I faced on the first day, I think being vulnerable to the public space, while doing actions I raise here a question. Why on one hand people here, consider the misdeed of a drunk as normal and excuse them? Why on the other hand if a normal teetotaler creates an assault, he or she gets more criticism and attention? I think that an assault is an assault in any which way whether it comes from a normal or drunk person. Isn’t it that way…. it seems that when a person drinks, his or her suppressed behaviour shows up more in the open? Just a thought though…….. But here I come back to the reactions of the interventions that I did for 3 days. Most reactions that were visible, concentrated towards their eyes. Many took the action just as a weird thing to witness although there is nothing they can do to resist. This is a public place. Center of the city. People are either on their way home or elsewhere. The movement goes on. In a lighter sense, I make an effort to decrease the rate of velocity in their motion,bringing their gaze directed towards me. On second thought, this intervention also brings out and opens the discussion towards the existence of the Other.I bring out here the recent political discussion on a blog of a right wing member which was taken as a joke – that all immigrant settlers or visitors should wear arm bands with their country’s symbol, so that they can be identified. Those who read the news and since everybody do read the news can identify with this blog version of racial division. Most people found what’s written in the blog, as some kind of ridicule. But for an outsider representing or being the other, it is a matter of concern like a spice that is added when we talk of xenophobia. Another picture is also of the makeshift situation of immigrant settler, student or worker from different country, meeting the challenges from various dimensions, sides, etc. Cultural, political and social. A shift of a different kind. The state of an asylum seeker, the trials and tribulations. The Other and An-Other as a thought form reaches the problematizing phase. The system, the paper works, the urge to dig evidence of anyone’s existence. Isn’t it so, that even in this western society the local young citizens are going through the same question of the Other? Where does one belong? Where is one placed in the guise of Punk, Hippies, Gothic, Dandies, etcetera ? Isn’t it strange that Eastern society is generalised to have a caste system? Especially when Indian society is concerned? The fight for certain status. The new age high society coated with colour/pigment of capitalism….. The super rich versus the extreme poor, the mainstream versus the alternative. In the context of Indian society we have the the third category as the Other – The middle class. This present class is struggling with state- influenced reservation policy which is a convenient card for the vote banks of corrupt political system. It may appear here that the thoughts are going out of context, but for me The Other in the space of An-Other opens up and widens the question of Being and Becoming. The question of Other entering the space of An-Other touches and crosses the margins which are forced, visible and invisible. Interventions and actions in public places for me opens up more areas to problematize in spite of browsing through (somebody’s experience / reference) catalogues, idiot box or INTERNET. My materials develop through experiences, by anticipating the reaction, in a lighter mood before this page fills:- Is it possible to write your future before experiencing all that you want to witness in present? xyzxyzxyzxyzxyzxyzxyzxyzxyzxyzxyz??
image reference also in my gallery page:-
Text Body displayed on the left side of the wall from the Entrance of studio 2
Description of Alternative space from mainstream
Few Images, workshop documentation and exhibition space
How things and activities run in an alternative society, place or space, situated in a small town of Tampere? Its difficult to answer ( bring out) with few images and video documentation. It is interesting to assume here, how an alternative society develops a sense of community through events, carnivals, workshops, exhibitions, discussions which touches the present day issues of many kinds, and so on and so forth? Like everywhere, here also we face problems. Here the problem is to maintain this alternative culture challenged by the mainstream factors. The place itself deals with the presence of The Other in the space of An-Other. A place where different culture people meets. Exchange views. A punk guy running a cycle center, coaching and mending anybody’s cycle. Ask him, ( even though sometimes you may find him stressed) how are you…. and out comes his answer – “I am cool!” One begins to wonder how he deals with the problem of himself being The Other in the society with his Punk Anarchy ways to look at issues. He is not an Artist with a ‘Tag’ like all the others yet he is very much a part of the alternative hub, the Art House or more commonly known as Moose House (Hirvitalo in Finnish). A common space for all, yet there are papers that interfere, pages to fill and like the question of The Other towards An-Other that we ask, there is an assumption for a solution, but as humans we have the tendency to problematize………..
Description of the exhibition space of Hirvitalo where the installation was full of texts
Onto my observation in the gallery space, I usually meet or come through the viewer’s ways of dealing with a comfort zone. Sometimes for them it is a tough job to go through the entire works. Especially when full of texts are displayed and the visuals strongly portraying the issues. It is then, they deal with their comfort zone. Therefore I collected some Fluxus scores and placed them in an envelope. It was interesting how a layman would explore and deal with comfort zone, which is created in the mental and physical frame, out of personal and cultural ethics. The viewers have work to do in this constant testing of time and space, how much is possible to receive.
For image references go through my Gallery Page.