Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I was recently invited to join a production by Cadartin Produktionen. Story written by argentinian Lola Arias is called "Dream with Revolver" and it will open in Raum 33 in Basel on 19th of September. It will be part of Treibstoff 2009 festival. (Hey cool, on the Treibstoff homepage there is a photo of "Fleisch und Blut" from 07 festival. Did the light to this too =)

I was very happy to sign in when director Charlotte von Bausznern called me, since I knew ms. Arias through Rimini Protokoll and Stefan Kaegi and was really curious to read her text. I had also previously worked briefly with Christa Wenger, light designer with Bendwerk, who was contributing to the light concept. Christa had been kind enough to suggest me to Charlotte when they were looking for collaborators in Basel, so it's actually thanks to her that I'm in the project.

For the upcoming project we wanted to do little try-out already now in May, to experiment on some functional ideas we had come up with during the pre-designing. This try-out was called "MAIDing" and we had two performances.

Mirrors, reflection and transparent
In MAIDing we had two main themes to explore. First of them was the possibility to use mirrors and create somehow indirect point of view to the performance / action. We placed couple of huge mirror-folio frames in the gallery-like space and then some smaller real mirrors on notestands on the floor. Set design is by Peter Meier.

Looking from below to the mirror hanged from the ceiling.

This part of our experiment worked really well and all the spectators were really fond of the idea. To me it was curious to realise how many ways of looking the spectators actually found, it was ways more complex than I could have imagined.

Looking from below, through the mirror
to the action taking place behind the vertical mirror.

To me probably the most fascinating thing was to see how you can dissolve all the sense of direction and turn things upside down etc. The action turns into something very ethereal and poetic and the spectator can easily forget who and what is above and below.

Upsidedown? Who?

The mirror experiment was a total success and this will be something to work on and develop further also in autumn.

Switches -DIY scene-
The second part of our experiment was giving the command to the spectator. For this we had been fondling the idea of giving each and every spectator their own switch so that they can control their own individual source of light on stage. We wanted to let the the audience decide what and how clearly they can see.

A very luminous moment.
On stage: Esther Becker and Elina Meyer

When a spectator is coming to the seating there is no way of knowing which switch will do what. So, quite understandably, there was relatively lot of blinking in the beginning. The sources varied from traditional theater fixtures via light-organ to minuscule desk-lamps. One could end up having a switch to more general source or to a very fine detail. And first of all one needs to figure out which one responds to the switch.

But in the end I was very surprised to see that there actually seems to be some kind of collective understanding of, or attempt towards, aesthetical appearance. The audience started to built up rough scenes on stage and choose what fits together.

Moving towards more designed light.
Costumes: Susanne Ehrenbaum

The spectators admitted that the idea of switches is curious and they found it interesting in the beginning. But somehow it also becomes slight burden and repsonsibility having to remember your light and your switch and using them, which disturbs one's concentration on following the story.

Graphic moment.

To us it also turned out to be a fact that the switch-idea is too coarse as a medium to be used for this particular text of Revolver Traum. The space in Raum 33 is so white and luminous, that it would have been working against the space itself to built delicate enough set-up for the switching. The only way of presenting the necessary intimacy and privacy of the text would have been to cover the whole space in black if you don't want to open it all up. With the mirrors we still have the possibility of showing only a glimpse or partial image of somebody's private moments.

Focusing and concentrating the scene.

The very end.

I was exhilarated to have a chance of this kind of exploration. The results were far more complex and multi-leveled than I could ever have imagined. It shows yet again how you grow blind to your own thing. One should think that they have pondered the possibilities from every possible angle, but rest assured, there will always be surprise.

The switch-thing is something that will have it's time and space somewhere in the future, but it just didn't fit to the concept of this text and the world the text reveals. The mirrors are beautiful, poetic and very powerful in expression. Those are sort of easy concept of offering many possibilities to the audience.

I'm really looking forward to end of summer to really get my hands on this. This makes me feel very positively energetic. Yeah!

Stay tuned for follow-ups!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kill your Darlings in Münster

After coming back to Basel, I actually rushed almost directly out to Münster with bigNOTWENDIKEIT's "Kill your Darlings" performance.

I had no idea where Münster was supposed to be, above the fact that it's somewhere in Germany. But I did find it and manage to pin it to the map, after sitting six hours in the train to get there. Münster seems to be quite charming village in middle Germany, with lots of students and bicycles. It reminded me very much of outskirts of Dortmund, which I have visited way back then when I was teenager. Dortmund is actually only 60km away, so no wonder.

Rural green on the way to our accomodation.

We performed on "Raw like Sushi"-festival in Pumpenhaus, which turned out to be a very friendly and straight-forward theater. It was really luxurious to realize that there was four technicians for our set-up, which is super-simple to begin with. -Like twenty something drawers on the floor and 11 channels for lights. Not complicated by any level. So, everything rolled really smoothly and everybody was very helpful and friendly. They seem to have good working atmosphere in Pumpenhaus and I even got a t-shirt, so would gladly visit them again anytime.

Pumps of the Pumpenhaus.

As it happened, I had my birthday on the day of our arrival to the venue. The other girls had prepared little celebration on the back of the car with balloons & colorful ribbons and Katharina had even baked a cake. So cute, I was big time touched . I didn't really expect anything of the sort. Life is suprising at times. Thanks girls, I will remember this!

Anna, Katharina, Olivia and Esther
and the back-of-the-car-party.

One thing that left me wondering about Münster is the traffic lights for pedestrians and bicycles. What the henk is the story with double-reds? Anybody?


Holidays in Finland

Due to having been bit busy, and also lazy, my posting come bit belated this time. -But better later than never, yeah?

I was briefly in Finland again, in the beginning of May. This time, mainly for personal purposes, which is strange. Usually I have loads of project related stuff to do when I'm over there. It was cool, -I met so many friends I haven't seen in long time, checked out some of the latest on the dance-scene and even managed to watch Finland-USA ice-hockey match . Whoaa, ice-hockey was especially great, since they don't care so much for that particular sport in Switzerland, or at least I don't know where =)

This year I managed to finally do something I've been invited to do for years! On 1st of May my former teacher from Väs, Kimmo, arranges this legendary brunch of his. Theme is always color and it follows the spectre of rainbow. This year the color was orange and only advise to the guests was, as always, to wear something of the color and bring some sparkling wine with you.

We started the sunny 1st of May Friday on the inner yeard of my dear friends Kalle and Pikku-Markku and did some barbeque with couple of friends. Very nice and relaxed atmosphere. Thanks guys, again.

Barbeque with Mia, PM, Kalle and Raisa.

After quite many bottles of sparkling wine we embarked to go to Kimmo's party. There was pretty much people and the main feeling was -orange. Luckily the weather was nice, since the approximate 100 people woulnd't fit to Kimmo's apartment by any chance. So the party spreaded out to the street along Pitkänsillanranta. Passersby were bit confused about all the "orangeity". Very easy-going party adn I met some old friend and made some new ones. I definately go next year again, if I'm in Finland.

The Hosts of Orange, Kimmo and Petri.

Some of the sparkly stuff
last count the following day: 168 empty bottles

Mia, the personification of ORANGE.

Roger Moore
I happened to read from the newspaper that Roger Moore is going to make a visit to Finland while I was also there. I'm not such a big fan of the guy, and I wouldn't go through any trouble to see him. But since he was sort of coming to me, I thought I'd go check it out in Akateeminen Kirjakauppa, a bookstore in Helsinki.

It was quite amazing. The bookstore was already jam-packed with people good time before the guy ever showed up himself and app. 200m long autograph line-up was snaking around the ground floor of the store. I've never seen such crowd in this place before. It was very difficult to find any kind of spot where one could at least theoretically catch a glimpse of the podium where the interview was to be held.

The talks were quite brief and very mundaine, didn't shake my world on any level. But now I can at least say that I've seen The Saint in person. Quite charming old guy, I admit. But still such a curiosity to se him getting so many people on the move.

THE crowds

Sir himself