ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival

The 18th edition of ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival will take place between 10th and 15th September 2019. Internationally celebrated, award-winning artists from around the world will once again present their projects in Kuopio. The rest of the programme will be published soon!

The theme and focus for the 18th edition of ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival is death. The programme traces various iterations of death in an attempt to open-up thinking around our relationship to it and to the many sets of phenomena that surround it. Ideas die, eras end, materials become obsolete, things break, technology supersedes itself, places are abandoned, the natural world is destroyed, social and political ideals are overthrown, and plant, animal and human life is finite.

Artistic directors Johanna Tuukkanen and Gregg Whelan are looking forward to this year’s festival:

"We’re surprised it’s taken us 18 years to get here. Ideas of death, its impact, its social and cultural standing, its place in human life, its place in all life, has been one of the key drivers behind artistic practice for centuries.

So how does contemporary art speak to this most contemporary, and ageless, presence in our lives?  That’s the central question driving ANTI’s 2019 programme; what new practice, what new experience, new knowledge and new joy can we locate in thinking about and working about death?”

During the festival week, we will award ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, one of world’s most exciting cultural prizes. This year the prize nominees will be present their pieces in Kuopio during the festival.

We’ll also host the fourth Future DiverCities Lab in Kuopio.

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On the occasion of Minna Canth’s 175th anniversary in 2019, the Vienna-based performance collective Nesterval will take their audience to an immersive theatre adventure inspired by the work of the Finnish writer and social activist. The audience will become involved in a dramatic story of a wedding in a remix of feminist literature of the 19th century, Austrian Heimatfilms and the grim reality of the lives of mountain farmers. Visitors become actively involved and may join the quest for the magic of the place of longing called home, trying to answer the big questions concerning foreignness, violence, love and guilt.

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This is my book of the dead. Things I’ve figured out so far. I kept a distance to it by writing in English and not in my native language Finnish. It has helped me to study this subject in a more in-depth way. Writing in English has been a tool for digging deeper than I originally wanted to. Life is a tough lesson to learn. There is no doubt about it. I hope you will find the same comfort in emptiness as I have. That nothing, really isn’t that bad. At least my experience of it isn’t.
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The project Mundane Heroics brings together a group of young role players from Sweden, Denmark and Finland to create a series of live tableaus in public space. Tableaus based on altered household objects that have been painted, remodelled and combined by the participants, so that they seem at once familiar and strange. These objects are picked up, worn and used as props by the participants as they combine fantasy fiction with elements from their everyday lives. By performing exaggerated and strange versions of gestures taken from the multitudes of everyday tasks most of us perform daily, often without noticing, they become mundane heroes in a series of wordless heroic everyday tableaus in public space. Read more ▸

After Erika Eiffel is the story of a tool with the power to pierce straight to the heart. This immersive work invites you to discover the startling intimacy and potent sensation of firing an arrow. Archery is a sport that demands patience and sensitivity. As you gradually hone your aim on a solo journey through a customized 16-target archery course, you become aware of the intense relationship between your body and the deadly bow. When you attune yourself to the object through your senses, you are rewarded by the rush of pleasure that comes from hitting the target. Read more ▸

“In Japan they teach as part of the school lunch program that plants give their lives in order for the people to live.”

In Mimosa Norja‘s Dear Deer there’s a shipping container placed in the middle of a park with a window wall across one side of it. There is a dead white tailed deer hanging inside the container.

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Wednesday 20.3.  17.00-19.00

Wednesday 24.4.  17.00-19.00

Wednesday 22.5.  17.00-19.00

Kukka- ja hautauspalvelu Rosanna | Vuorikatu 25, Kuopio

In Death Cafe we gather together for coffee and cake to talk about death and dying. Make yourself at home in a cozy atmosphere, express your thoughts and hear other people’s stories. Let’s redefine death from a taboo to a natural topic for discussion! Discussion in Finnish.

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Galleria Ars Libera | Suokatu 30, Kuopio


The winner of the ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art Award 2018, Sonya Lindfors, returns to Kuopio as she will start working on her piece for ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival 2019 with a gallery residence in Galleria Ars Libera 1.-7.4.2019. Lindfors is working on a process-like piece, and during her gallery week, titled SOFT LANDINGS, she aims to descend softly into the context of the upcoming work. Read more ▸