Performance Art in Finland

Performance art in Finland - Liina Kuttinem - performance artist holding an image of a smiling mouth with black things on the teeth


There are a great number of performance artists working in Finland today. They are active and professional both within the Finnish borders and abroad. Thus this exhibition gives a good reason to look at the roots and the development of performance art in Finland. This art form is often on display at the field’s own festivals but a museum exhibition of performance has never before been organised. The art form most commonly known by its habit of keeping away from the center of visual arts proves to be multi-layered and easier to approach than its reputation would lead to believe.

The oldest documentations of the exhibition are from the 1970s and 1980s. As the “forefather”of Finnish performance art there is a short tv-clip of a happening known as Helsinki Street Piece from 1963. During the 1980s plenty of events took place in the Finnish performance which have put their marks in our art history. Performance of that decade’s Finnish art was made particularly visible by three groups; Record Singers, Jack Helen Brut and Homo $. The 1990s, on the other  hand, are represented in the exhibition by the legends of Finnish performance art Roi Vaara and Irma Optimisti. Both are still performing actively today in Finland as well as abroad. Artist who have begun their careers during the past 10 years are Antti Laitinen, Mimosa Pale and Pilvi Takala. Annette Arlander, Minna Heikinaho, Reijo Kela, Harri Larjosto, Ilkka-Juhani Takalo-Eskola, Teemu Takatalo and Raila Knuuttila together with the collective Toisissa tiloissa and Ö-ryhmä also participate in the exhibition. (more here)

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