ANTI Festival 2018 – First programme release!

Media release 12.4.2018

The 17th edition of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival will take place between 25th and 30th September 2018. Internationally celebrated, award-winning artists from around the world will present projects engaged with ideas of play, playfulness, games and gaming.

A playful engagement with the spaces of Kuopio, ANTI Festival’s host city, has been at the heart of our approach to bringing vital, exciting and surprising contemporary art to this inquisitive community. For 2018 we’re focusing our attentions properly on play and gaming.

Artistic directors Johanna Tuukkanen and Gregg Whelan are excited about the festival theme:

“Play and games, in forms as divergent as any other realm of human activity, sit at the heart of the contemporary experience. Games are in our pockets, on our screens, in our bodies, they are played in and on the city, the landscape, the sea, the globe. Games and play have become a way – an active way – of understanding
the world and each other.”

During the festival week, we will award ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, one of world’s most exciting cultural prizes. We’ll also host the third Future DiverCitiesLab in Kuopio.

The full 2018 programme will be available in August.

Save the festival dates and follow us also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

For more information, please scroll down, visit our website or contact Festival Manager Elisa Itkonen:
+358 50 305 2005,

We are proud to publish the five lead works of our international festival programme:

Madeleine Flynn & Tim Humphrey (AU): Pivot

Acclaimed Australian artists, Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey, known in Kuopio for Megaphone Project (2014) and Shriek (2016), will bring their new work, Pivot to ANTI Festival.

Pivot’s boldly coloured over-sized seesaws invite you to stop and play – asking us to think deeply about the choices and commitments we make, every day, to create this complex world of ours. The interactive, intelligent seesaws listen as their riders meet, talk and share.

Rejoice in the absurdity of a seesaw ride, while democracy teeters towards ever more dangerous farce. As you enjoy the rare opportunity to ride, speak, and listen, remember that Pivot is programmed to
consider everything it hears.

Pivot will be installed in the park next to Kuopio City Hall – creating a meeting point
for the decision makers and residents of Kuopio.


Photo: Gregory Lorenzutti - Pivot
Photo: Gregory Lorenzutti – Pivot


Action Hero (UK): Oh Europa

A 30,000 km journey collecting love songs creates an unforgettable performance.

Over 6 months in 2018, the internationally celebrated duo Action Hero are travelling over 30,000km across Europe in a motorhome, recording love songs sung by the people they meet. They invite ANTI Festival and the people of Kuopio to contribute to the process by recording love songs in their mobile studio and by encountering material gathered on their journey through Europe’s contested identity.

This ever-evolving library of songs will be broadcast 24/7 from beacons placed across the continent by the intrepid duo. Listen and follow online. Action Hero pull into Kuopio towards the end of their adventure, bringing with them a performance created en route, a travelogue not to be missed!

Oh Europa seeks to re-imagine the ways we think about Europe and how we continue to share this space. Detached from political posturing, hollow rhetoric and empty sound bites, heartfelt love songs offer an opportunity to hear ourselves emerge out of the white noise.


Photo: Paul Blakemore
Photo: Paul Blakemore

Becker (NO), Goldberg (SE) & Langgård (NO): Still Life

A Nordic collaboration project between ANTI Festival, Norwegian set designer Signe Becker (NO), Swedish choreographer Rosalind Goldberg and Norwegian musician Ingvild Langgård.

A site-specific performance installation where sound, scenography and movement create
an ever-changing tableau vivant.

Over the last hundred years, technology has developed the usage of images and shaped our conception of reality. Looking at images displayed in the core of industrialism through to today’s constant exposure of lives through social media, Still Life reflects on contemporary paradigms of perception and the politics of images.


Image: Signe Becker
Image: Signe Becker

Tania El Khoury (LB) & ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art

Tania El Khoury, the 2017 winner of ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, returns to Kuopio with a new work made for ANTI Festival, and an international touring hit.

Tania El Khoury (LB): The Search for Power

ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art commission!

On a night with a sudden electricity outage in their Beirut neighbourhood, the artist and her historian husband discussed the history of power cuts in Lebanon. Born during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), the artist had grown up with the understanding that the problem with electricity in Lebanon began during the war. The historian, however, recalled finding a government document that announced scheduled electricity
outages across the city of Beirut in 1952.

Artist and historian decided to research the history of power outages in Lebanon, delving into intersection between public utilities infrastructure, a people’s relationship to the state, and
the various popular mobilizations that shape both.

The Search for Power is an installation performance featuring the artist, the historian, and us – the audience.

Created in collaboration with Ziad Abu-Rish.


Photo: Ziad Abu-Rish
Photo: Ziad Abu-Rish

Tania El Khoury (LB): As Far As My Fingertips Take Me

The internationally renowned one-to-one performance comes to Kuopio!

As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is an encounter through a gallery wall between an audience member and a refugee. Their fingertips touch without seeing each other. The refugee marks us as we listen to those who have recently challenged border discrimination, stories that can be kept or washed away.

Performance by Tania El Khoury
Performed by Basel Zaraa


Photo: Tania El Khoury
Photo: Tania El Khoury

We will publish the full 2018 festival programme in June.

For our 2018 festival ANTI is partnering with Games for Health Finland and
the International Game Developers Association, Kuopio Hub.