ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival

ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival offered six days  of contemporary art made specifically for the public spaces of Kuopio, Finland. A large international audience enjoyed this 9th edition of the festival, which was widely praised across Finland’s national media.

Focused on a theme of writing and language tens of thousands of people encounter the work a truly international group of artists. From June to October Eungyung Kim & Shoji Kato’s installation ISLAND ASPIRED was seen by everyone visiting Kuopio’s  2010 housing fair, along with summer tourists and local residents. The housing fair alone was visited by some 150,000 people.

Across the six days the festival dramatically increased the number of vistors to Kuopio, and created thousands of new customers for some of the city’s businesses: Burts Coffee hosted Sarah van Lamsweerde’s INSTANT FICTION, where hundreds of audience members enjoyed a coffee while the extraordinary piece unfolded. Five hundred people visited Fressi Gym five to watch GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN’s marathon performance WEIGH ME DOWN. Restaurant Sampo hosted an amazing evening of Love Song karaoke and thousands of people engaged with Abinadi Meza’s hidden story encoded across the city in posters and stickers.

Artist Iva Supic Jankovic helped spread the ANTI word with her piece PUBLIC SPACE MY ASS – a limited edition, hand painted festival t-shirt; we have a few left, so contact as immediately for this unique record of this year’s festival.

The Nordic Conference and the 2010 ANTI seminar; Writing, language and Site attracted a large numbers of Nordic and international professionals in the field of live and performance art. The events were especially designed for networking and discussing the cultural worth and agency of the work presented at ANTI and across the Nordic region. There was much talk too about how Nordic institutions could collaborate together and support contemporary perfromance practice.

Next year is ANTI’s thenth anniversary. So look at for our opening birthday party on 27.9! It’s going to be a blast!

Finally we’d like to thank everyone from the sites we worked with this year to those how attend and support the festival. Without this very local support the festival would not be possible. So, many, many thanks from everyone at ANTI to the city of Kuopio. See you next year!

ANTI festival's artistic director and senior producer Johanna Tuukkanen will give a speech about ANTI in MINTO: LIVE festival Australia 20.-22.1.2011.  The visit is supported by Campbelltown Arts Centre and North Savo Art Council.

Some artists believe that art should FLAG UP against conventionalised injustice FLAG UP against moral paralysis against the fear of change and the fear of others. They put their lives, hearts and minds on the line for this. Who are they? Who will you choose to be celebrated with a flag day at ANTI Festival? Read more ▸

John Court left school at 16 unable to read or write. Over the following years an interest in visual art gave him the impetus to develop these fundamental skills. Literally returning to school for this performance, the artist will embark on creating a ‘written’ drawing, generated through the performative act of live writing, deployed here as a demanding physical task. Read more ▸

Australian artist Rosie Dennis returns to ANTI to spend two weeks walking and talking with people in Kuopio’s public spaces, engaging in spontaneous conversation with strangers about what they love and don’t love about their city. Using these conversations as material, she will write and perform Downtown: Kuopio. Read more ▸

The gym; some go to relax, some go to sweat. For those who prefer to sweat, it’s a place of strictly timed seconds, repeated repetitions and committed physical activity. For WEIGH ME DOWN, here are the rules of engagement: a performer runs on a treadmill for the first 90 minutes of every 2 hours, for a total of 12 hours. As they run, they read aloud continuously from a list of thousands of apologies. During each 30-minute break from running, the performer remains by the treadmill and may not speak at all. Read more ▸

Maija Hirvanen returns to ANTI with a re-imagining of what was originally aproject made for the stage. On Ice premiered at Zodiak, Helsinki in 2009. For ANTI the project is returned to its site-based origins: initial versions of the piece were developed in situ at HIFK, the Helsinki Ice Hockey team’s stadium, where Maija worked with the team’s cheerleaders. Read more ▸

A city wakes, works and sleeps, it opens for business in the morning and closes again in the evening – an endless cycle of beginnings and endings. Everyday Opera playfully underlines those otherwise unnoticed moments of opening and closing, by seeing in the new and seeing out the old with a dramatic burst of song. As the railway station, the library, the swimming pool, the market hall and the donor centre open for the day, the first contact – the first swimmer, traveller, or blood donator – will be accompanied by a piece of live opera, sung as a way of ushering in the day’s coming drama, no matter how mundane. Read more ▸

Finnish dance and live art artist Sonja Jokiniemi works with movement as a form of mark-making. Looking at ideas of territory and belonging, Scratch inhabits an abandoned space and explores its actual and possible pasts through an expanded idea of the writer’s body. This intimate work – part performance, part installation – asks us to consider the various histories of a space and those of the body that attempts to navigate it. Read more ▸

Calling runners and walkers of all ages and abilities! American artist Regin Igloria invites you to join the world’s first text-generating, 10-kilometre road race. Anyone can join the race and you can take as long as you like to finish – in fact the longer the better, as the final participant over the finishing line decides the very last line of a unique text. Read more ▸

In 2004 Heather Kapplow began a relationship with Finland that sadly – due to an array of cross-cultural mishaps and misunderstanding – went awry. The relationship dissolved. Now, six years later, Heather wants to try again. For the duration of the festival Heather will be making an apology to Finland for her part in the relationship’s demise. During her time on Finnish soil – in fact, from the moment Heather steps off the plane from Boston, to the moment several days later when she steps back onboard – Heather will speak only the words ‘I’m sorry’. Read more ▸

Fittingly, this extraordinary performance by Spanish artists Los Torreznos lasts just 35 minutes. How do we experience the passing of time? How does language deal with time? How does time deal with language? And why 35 minutes? Los Torreznos tell us: “These 35 minutes are fundamental to the construction of history, they cannot be eliminated – otherwise the roof would fall in. In the thousand million years of our universe these 35 minutes fulfill their own purpose, coming immediately after the last 35 minutes and slotting in nicely just before the next 35 minutes”. 35 minutes are built from 2,100 seconds, which is exactly what this playful performance offers us: 2,100 seconds to reveal the passing of time. Read more ▸

Over the next 15 years a new district of Kuopio will be built, housing something close to 14,000 residents. Saaristokaupunki (translating as “the town of the archipelago”) will rise along the shores of lake Kallavesi and offer an environment that the City of Kuopio Housing Department hopes ”will make dreams come true for many of us: our own house located next to the city center, close to nature and right by the lake”. Read more ▸

As a Canadian living in Finland, Johanna MacDonald speaks, as she puts it, “weird Finnish – learnt lazily over the last eight years, full of half-conjugated verbs and random word endings”. Her pronounciation skills aren’t up to much either. Performing eight hours of live stand-up comedy in Finnish, translating jokes originally written in English, will be a challenge for Johanna. Offers of grammatical advice will be greatly appreciated. Read more ▸

Australian artists Georgie Meagher and Malcolm Whittaker have an interest in places and maps, but not as we know them. Their performances re-map and reimagine what’s around us, using the local and the global to create a dislocated and displaced world. “It’s as much about where places could be, as about where places are” say the artists, before adding that their work could be understood as ‘site-unspecific’. Read more ▸

You’re walking through Kuopio and you begin to notice a series of black and yellow graphic images stuck to the wall. You see one, and then later, another on the opposite side of the city. Is it graffiti or some kind of poster? Well, both, perhaps. These graphic codes are not readable by the human eye, but by the camera on your smart phone. Point your phone at it and a text will be generated. Read more ▸

“LILY, the caretaker’s daughter, was literally run off her feet.” The Dead, James Joyce

The charged space of Kotkankallio bomb shelter was host to Kira O’Reilly’s performance for ANTI 2003, which became one of the more iconic moments in the festival’s history. Kira’s return to the same site this year is the first time ANTI has asked an artist to readdress their practice in – and its relationship to – the same physical location. Seven years later, what has changed for the artist, and what has changed for us? Read more ▸

The movement of birds in the city is transformed into human speech as sound artist Holly Rumble suggests we ‘read’ Kuopio’s airborne population. For this part ecological study and part musical score, visit the artist in her daily location and follow four simple rules: Read more ▸

Croatian Artist Iva Supic Jankovic offers us, by way of this year’s ANTI Festival T-shirt, her short text piece: ’Public Space My Ass’. For us at ANTI, a festival presenting art works made for public space, Iva’s intervention is both conceptually rigorous and properly amusing. Read more ▸

Sampo – perhaps the most traditional of Kuopio’s restaurants, serving great fish and even better schnapps – is the perfect place to host this homage to the love song. A group of women embroider the lyrics of love songs onto what will become a collection of tablecloths for the restaurant. At times they spontaneously break into song, singing the lyrics that they carefully stitch. Read more ▸

Video surveillance cameras capture all that occurs in Burts Coffee and relay images to a series of monitors. The monitors, clearly visible from inside the café, show live images and something else: beneath the picture, running along the bottom of the screen, is a looping collection of subtitles. Read more ▸



Caroline Bergvall (NO/FR/UK): Flag Up

John Court (UK): Eight hours writing

Rosie Dennis (AU): Downtown: Kuopio

getinthebackofthevan (UK): Weight me down

Maija Hirvanen (FI): On Ice Anti

Johann Hällsten (SE): Everyday opera

Sonja Jokiniemi (FI): Scratch

Regin Igloria (US): The ANTI 10K – Run write run!

Heather Kapplow (US): I’m sorry

Los Torreznos (ES): 35 minutes

Eungyung Kim (US/KR/FI) & Shoji Kato (JP/ FI): Island aspired

Johanna MacDonald (CA/FI): Badly translated stand-up

Georgie Meagher & Malcolm Whittaker (AU): Kansas

Abinadi Meza (US): Murmur

Kira O’Reilly (UK): Untitled bomb shelter action for Kuopio, returning

Holly Rumble (UK): One minute bird watching

Iva Supic Jankovic (HR): Public space my ass

Toimintaryhmä Olettamo (FI): Embroidered love songs

Sarah van Lamsweerde (NL): Instant fiction