ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival
Children and teenagers will be the focus of this year's ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival, which presents site- and time-specific works made for public space. The international festival programme consists of work where the youngest family members or youngsters nearing adulthood are either the theme or an active part of the production. Children and young people as a theme of a Finnish contemporary arts festival is a unique phenomenon as the performances here are not targeted at an audience of children. The winner of the new and significant Finnish art award, the ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, will be announced at the Festival. The prize is funded by the Saastamoinen Foundation. An international jury, chaired by Ruth Mackenzie (UK), has chosen the winner from six nominees. The 13th ANTI Festival will expand its operations to public spaces in Northern Savo at the end of September and audiences will be offered events to watch and also to participate in.
The most visible and unquestionably the most audible event will be the Megaphone Project by Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey (AU). The performance has been hugely popular in Australia and it consists of 25 bright red megaphones that invite people to join in to create a shared sound field. The project will also travel to Iisalmi during the festival week. Another Australian visitor is The Walking Neighbourhood, a work based on Lenine Bourke's idea, where children and teenagers work with the artists for two weeks to create walking tours based on their own interests in Kuopio. These thematic tours are available during the festival weekend.
How would you react if you walked into a barber's or hair salon and were greeted by a bunch of kids with scissors in their hands? A group of children do a week-long course in hair-cutting for Haircuts by Children, a performance by the Canadian company Mammalian Diving Reflex. For three days a team of 4th grade pupils take over the Style in Room hair salon, ready to make their customers' wishes come true. Another fruit of intensive work is Assembly by Nicola Conibere (UK). It will be created in collaboration with students from upper secondary school and will examine the ways that bodies relate to each other during the performance. Assembly lasts for several hours and is a varied performance that changes as the viewers change.
Two workshop performances deal with the city of Kuopio as a place to live. A Girls' Town is a textual workshop arranged by artist Suvi Nurmi (FI). It mixes playfulness with anarchy by allowing girls to redefine law and disorder and rewrite the city's bylaws. The new bylaws will be exhibited at the Kuopio Market Square between 25 and 28 September. Suvi Nurmi also invites the entire family to take part in her Wish Deposit workshop at the Säästöpankki Optia premises on the festival Saturday. The other advocate for a pleasant urban environment is the My Kuopio workshop, which is organised by Lastu School of Architecture and Environmental Culture. Townspeople can use their artistic skills to replan the areas of Sammakkolampi and Väinölänniemi.
Artist Emma Fält (FI) together with the Arka Paikka group consisting of young adults will present their About Loneliness project, an installation of drawings, at the Satamankulma Gallery. The installation will develop on the gallery walls from Wednesday until Saturday and everyone is welcome to help in its creation. The work will be painted over on the last festival day.
Sunday will see a series of duets: ANTI Festival has invited three artists to collaborate with a child, creating three unique duets. Performance artists Pilvi Porkola and Tuomas Laitinen (FI) have collaborated with their own children, who are involved both in the planning and production. American performance artist Kris Grey collaborates with Kuopio-based teenager Noora Hyvärinen. The pair will meet each other for the first time in Kuopio in September and will spend a week together developing a performance.
There will be a pop-up coffee shop, #lounge, in the town centre from Wednesday to Saturday, which is open to local young people. #lounge will be organised on the basis of the anti-café concept first implemented in Moscow where customers pay for the time they spend in the café instead of the drinks and food. Customers who are 25 years old or younger are welcome!
The public can get involved in a special event presented and curated by local arts organisation Ars Libera on Saturday. The stage on the Market Square will be redesigned in this work arranged by Kuopio Artists Association. Kaisa Törmänen, Ulla Remes, Sami Korkiakoski, Maijariitta Karhulahti and Sinikka Kosonen will be among the Ars Libera members to feature in the event.
Children operating in the field of contemporary art - subjects or objects? is the title of the seminar that accompanies this year’s festival. The participants will discuss the various ways that children can operate in the field of contemporary art and what kind of rights children and teenagers have not only in urban spaces but also in art-making. Tarja Pääjoki, PhD, and Pauline von Bonsdorff, PhD, both from Jyväskylä University, will be the main Finnish lecturers, and many of the festival artists will present their productions and methods. The seminar will be organised in collaboration with Jyväskylä University's Department of Art and Culture Studies. Festival guests will also have a chance to see works by the festival artists and hear children's views at the two PechaKucha Nights and meetings with the artists.