My second visual poetry contribution in the blog Truck can be seen here:
It is stunningly beautiful to go through some old papers and suddenly run into old pictures and notes made over 10 years ago. This just happened to me last month, and here it is, the memories of the performance art duet ”O”.
Live Art Group: O (2003-2004)
O (the letter O, referring to a circle as a never-ending and strictly geometric form) was an artist duo of me (known then with the name Parviainen) and Lauri Luhta. We would be known with names ”Die Systematische Frau” and ”Der logischen Mann”. We came up with the urge to establish O after experiencing several simultaneous geometric occasions in Berlin on October 2003, while performing solo and group works in International Congress of Performance Art, Gallery SoToDo. Being inspired by the authentic works of art in the Bauhaus Museum, the duo O started a series of performances including geometric elements in action such as drawing circles and squares, using pure basic colors according to Johannes Itten, and measuring/mathematics. The question was often much about nutritional experiments, too, like finding a suitable state of mind and body through kethosis, enjoying lots of caffeine or nutritional supplements, or fasting before the performance. The first performance in Berlin included feeding the audience with Schokoladenriegeln (chocolate Santa Clauses). The first performance was a collaboration with Morlokkiarmeija, which later came to be known as KOELSE, Kokeellisen Elektroniikan Seura (Association of experimental electronics). Later, some technological experiments were involved, such as wearing a 4-channel recorder attached to the body, and overlapping the recordings of nutrition and science based mind flow dialogue while moving on the floor only by lying on our back. In Taidehalli, Helsinki, you would also see Die Systematische Frau, eyes wide open, kneeled in front of a TV producing a static image, with her face attached to the screen with tape, as Der Logischen Mann would walk around a circle and make some measurements on KOELSE members with a measuring tape.
The performances were named by numbers according to their appearance, so the first one would be ”0”, the next one ”1” and so on. Due to the short name of both the group and the performances, it would sometimes happen that the audience had a hard time understanding that O was the name of a performer. That is, of course, a typical thing to happen to a conceptual art maker, and also a part of the risky business of simplifying things to the ultimatum.
Here is some info that was found in an old artist file, made on the years we still had more paper photos and prints than blogs and web sites:
11th October 2003 in Bunker, Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Deutschland
Outi-Illuusia Parviainen ”Die Systematische Frau” and Lauri Luhta ”Der Logischen Mann”
MOTTO: ”Less is more. A circle has it all.”
INSPIRATION: Minimalism, functionalism, suprematism, the Bauhaus. Basic forms and primary colors. Measuring things, analyzing, research. German language.
SPECIAL: An original terminology, a good example being ”graani: the culmination of something that tests the inhuman experience of comfort; such as a change of temperature, physical or mental stress, or such. It is experienced as a sensation of weight. Can roughly be translated as punishment, fever.”
Oh, that blissful sensation of feeling younger again! This happens when I look at these pictures of Santa Amore, a performance I made in Gallery Forum Box, Helsinki, Finland in 2003. It was a night called Là-Bas Post-Male Performance and it included only women performers’ works. I remember many others from there: Essi Kausalainen, Leena Kela, Sanna Karlsson-Sutisna, Irma Optimisti and so on. We still have a those great artists working to make our world a little different and awake.
I would be very happy to mention who took the photos, but there was no name left either on the film roll or my memory. Please feel free to help me remember!
It was 2001 and I was 20 years old. My heart was on fire and I wanted to do performance art. So I did; the first performance of my career took place on Exit Festival of Unusual Live Performances, which was arranged by the award-winning artist Roi Vaara, at Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki. Interestingly enough, Roi found a free spot in the schedule for me to perform.
The performance Polemik/Rinkelit included drinking coffee, lighting candles, rolling on the floor, and throwing bagels on the audience. They were also given paper flyers with an info graph of the performer’s body temperature during the last 7 days.
It is very interesting to look back and think about the connection of the old works compared to the present. One thing I still have in common with the young Outi-Illuusia, is the enthusiasm to find unique ways of connecting with the viewers. The audience is always important for any performer.
Here are a couple of pics of my performance Pakettitoimitus (Package Delivery) at Eskusplosion 24h, a performance art event at Esitystaiteen Keskus, Helsinki. The performance included arriving inside a big skin tone hood, holding a chocolate bunny; the peeling of several wrapped layers of fabric that were on the performer, while hearing the reading of a poetic monologue about the lonely waiting for lost letter mail; finding bagels from inside the wrappings; finally, getting free from the wraps, and exposing a black question-marked overall and a question-marked pair of sunglasses. The urge to get to eat the chocolate bunny despite the physical, invisible hindrances included falling down over again, and then finally, getting a sweet bite of the bunny. ”And oh… All these pretzels… and bagels.. and pretzelsss… and bagels (…) I have made for you!”
This blog has a very nice concept: the driver changes every month, being the curator of the artistic content of the blog. My work, a 4 pic series of visual poems ”The Questioner”, is travelling on the Truck since Monday, 8th September. Go and have a look!