ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival

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 DiverCities Lab in Kuopio.

The full 2018 programme will be available in June.

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:


Park next to the Kuopio City Hall | Tulliportinkatu Street 31

A field of semi intelligent seesaws

Rejoice in the safe absurdity of a see saw ride, while our 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 all words it hears, and is reflecting your own views, and the views of many others. Read more ▸

Kuopio Market Square

Over 6 months in 2018, Action Hero are travelling over 30,000km across Europe in a motorhome, recording songs of love, hope, heartbreak, loss and desire, 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.   Read more ▸

A site-specific performance installation by Signe Becker, Rosalind Goldberg and Ingvild Langgård.

In Still Life, scenography, choreography and sound together create an ever changing tableau. The scenery first seems frozen and arrayed. In the course of time, it will grow and morph into living, three dimensional images with sound – constantly changing shape and meaning. Still Life is as much of a concert as a performance: the scenography and sound will be choreographed, the dancers will turn into scenography and the sound will be dancing. Read more ▸

Installation performance by Tania El Khoury
In collaboration with Ziad Abu-Rish

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 dated 1952 that announced scheduled electricity outages across the city of Beirut. Read more ▸

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 will mark the audience. The audience will listen to those who have recently challenged border discrimination. Those stories can be kept or washed away. Read more ▸

We invite people of Kuopio to play TRON, the legendary and simple one-on-one video game, laser projected on a wall of a building. TRON takes us back in time to the creation of our first video games. Let’s play, cheer and challenge the winners all night long! Read more ▸

The Wrestling Club is a workshop and a performance. The artists gather to wrestle together with local workshop participants, to prepare participants’ bodies for the performance. Audiences are invited to follow the pre-written but unrehearsed performance, featured by a loud bass-driven DJ set, and feel the bodily experience of the wrestlers in their own bodies. Read more ▸

Make clothes out of food, lie on top of cars, dance with animals, have a ketchup fight, follow a random passerby, invent your own form of sport, search for miracles. Drawing on key Live Art themes and seminal works, PLAYING UP takes the form of a game
played by adults and kids together. Read more ▸

Welcome to The Swivelympics – your chance to achieve international sporting greatness without standing up!

The aim of Swivelympics – other than world peace and human understanding – is to complete the most number of spins in
one self-propelled push in a standard office swivel chair. Read more ▸

A new field-recording sound app for smart devices for the city Kuopio will be launched at this year’s ANTI Festival. Sound Map Kuopio captures sounds of Kuopio in an imaginative, participatory way and ask questions such as which sound do you connect with the city of Kuopio? Which sound belongs to Kuopio, whether you love it or not? Read more ▸


Hexagons is a game created by the artist collective point and place, exploring landscape, the body and acts of communication. Drawing on an archive of images created over 10 years of collaborative practice, the game is made of 33 paired images, printed on beautifully crafted hexagonal pieces.  An invitation to play and explore, Hexagonscan be played as the traditional memory game ‘Pelmanism’ or used as a starting point for creative interaction and improvised play. Read more ▸