Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 in pictures / part 2

Ghent, Belgium

September, "Etude" on Track festival. We performed two shows at Campo Victoria. Nice venue, except maybe for the fact that whole electricity for the theater, restaurant, gallery and ateliers was under one fuse. This I managed to blow three times with false movement with my mouse on GrandMAonPC. Boom, all is going out on full and the fuse is gone. Not such a big issue as such, but the they were not happy having to turn on the multimedia installation on the second floor all over again. Nine dvd-players and flat screens. Whoops, sorry about that =)

Ghent was very pretty, but maybe bit confusing to navigate at first. I really like the architecture there. See for yourselves:

I had little bit of free time, so I visited the local cathedral. The interior sure is different from what we know in Lutheranian Finland. Quite elaborate.

You can buy happiness in a store, maybe? Only in Ghent. -"Onni" being the word for happiness in Finnish.

Jicin, Czech

In September I also attended to a workshop for light designers. This took place in a very rural village of Jicin, some 100km north from Prag. We spent a week there working on the surroundings of what they call "Loggia". This was built some hundred something years ago by a local noble man, who wanted to make Jicin an important pit stop between Berlin and Vienna. didn't quite happen and the actual purpose of the Loggia is not perfectly clear. Our task was to create " a landscape of lighting" on the premises for the autumn equinox. Equinox is an important time of the year in Jicin, because the original idea of the noble man Waldstein integrated the geographical coordinates and the planetary movements into the positioning of his architecture.

Loggia of Jicin.

It was quite an amazing place, this Jicin. A very little village and the loggia situated somewhat outside the main throughfare. I haven't seen so many stars on the sky in years!! Unbelievable. No light pollution, wow. The urban rat wheel was very far away for a week. So great.


downtown Jicin

All in all it was a very nice week and I made some new friends. I should try to engage such things more often in the future. Even if my running shoes are still muddy because of this. Some findings and excersises we performed:



Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012 in pictures / part 1

Basel is just one big construction site this year, but I have never ever seen nine such machines on a same project before.

Basel, Messe June 2012

dOKUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany, June

In June I went to Kassel in central Germany. We had been invited to perform at the opening of the big art exhibition dOKUMENTA 13 with "Etude" by Alexandra Bachzetsis. This exhibition is organised only every five years and extends over three months in duration.

Kassel was a funny, sort of sleepy town, which had been transformed into this posh art scene for the duration of the exhibition. Art was absolutely everywhere, and so was loads of people, even though the expo hadn't really even kicked in yet.


Photos look pretty gorgeous with all that sunshine and fresh greenery, but you have no idea how freezing cold it was there. The second week of June and I had go to C&A to buy an emergency pullover, so that I don't freeze my butt off.


Below is the interior of Brüderkirche, where we had the first one of our two shows at dOKUMENTA. We rehearsed there for two days in approximatel +10'C temperature. On the day of opening it was revealed to us, that there actually would have been heating system, but no one turned it on for us. Brrrh.


The amount of art was really overwhelming. After a certain point, one cannot take in anything anymore. It would make much sense to go visit the exhibition multiple times. I didn't have that luxury, so I had to choose. One of the things I went to check out, was M.A Numminen perofrmance. Just because he is a fellow Finn. I thought I knew his stuff, but he had prepared some totally new material for the occasion. Nice and very intellectual. He composes classical music on the themes of existence and philosophy. And also some funny stuff for kids, but this was not presented in dOKUMENTA =).

M.A Numminen

Some curious stuff stuck to my mind about the selesction at the exhibition. There were some very very nice kinetic oil paintings, where the surface seems to be three dimensional, but it's just optical illusion. Those I liked very much.

Optical illusion

From somewhere in central America, they had brought a room full of environmental awareness. It was about the industry poisoning the land and stealing the livelihood of locals - and also about them killing this very curious ulgy-sweet little fish, that lives in local waters. Here's the creature:

Ugly-sweet, am I?

The second of our venues was an old movie theater named Kaskade in the heart of the town. Everything was in the mids of construction, but I got the very-small-scale-version of the performance up and running okay.The theater must have been gorgeous somewhere in Sixtie's or so. It had these nice burgundy red velvet chairs and golden mosaic ceiling. Pretty, but totally run-down. Now they are going to built something brand new in it's place instead of renovating the elegant old interior. Happens in so many places, so sad.

Golden ceiling of Kaskade Kino

The exhibition was just on the starting line as we there. There fore they threw a humonguous opening party at the local train station. they had actually rented out the whole premises and turned it into a huge night club. On one end was live bands playing and the other people were clubbing.

Opening party at Bahnhof Kassel

My beautiful Finland

In July. Oh how I had missed those white nights! The weather was not very king to me, though. No sign of a record-breaking heatwave like the previous year, when I didn't have a chance to go there. But beautiful nonetheless. Here are some impressions:

Parola, July 5th, 04:00 in the morning

Parola, July 5th, 04:00 in the morning
Parola, July 5th, 04:00 in the morning

My friend Regine from Basel was visiting me while I was in Finland. This was her first time in the country, so I got the play the little turist guide. It was nice to have a chance to look at so familiar things through the eyes of a first-timer. Makes you see differently. There is lots of beauty in my country which escapes my accustomed eyes.

Helsinki, Kauppatori harbor

Teeny weeny freshly fried vendaces, yummy!

Helsinki as seen from the rooftop restaurant Torni

Vanajavesi lake system just near Parola

Countryside, night time

Countryside, night time

Wild strawberries, also yummy!

Countryside, night time

In the early autumn, the national champinoships of fireworks. Teams compete in choreography of fireworks composed to the music of their choice, duration 5 minutes. Helsinki. This year I went again to see this with my friends. Nice hang out.

Fireworks in Helsinki

The last, but definately not the least, Tallinn, the shopper's paradise. New shoes, yay!!

Done truckin'

Yup. I went to GB. For approximately 12 hours :-). Alltogether some 1800 kilometers in a truck within three days. Keep on movin'...

British isles seemed quite okay. I want to go back some day with bit more time in my schedule. But, these quick trips are something I do occasionally. Just to accompany my boyfriend to go somewhere and back again. Like true hobbits, hehe.

I've done recently something else too. I had touring performances in Ghent, Amsterdam, Geneva and Neuchâtel.

Ghent was very pretty and there we got to perform with Etude since a long time. I really like the team of that production and therefore it would be nice to be able to do that one more often. While in Ghent I also had a chance to visit the headquarters of ADB Lighting. Cool to be able to see the latest toys at their homebase.

Amsterdam was again one of my quickies. I was there for one show for almost 45 hours. No idea what's cooking in the city at this point, didn't see nything else but the venue and hotel. Sometimes it just is like that. True city-hopping. Next time I'll promise to finally get my ass to Paradiso. Been planning that since forever.

Geneva on the other hand was a situation I couldn't get fast enough away from. There literally everything was / went wrong because people don't listen or care. I personally don't care to say anything more about that one. Bygones. Fortunately.

Neuchâtel was a nice one. Which was good for ending the touring year. The venue ADN operates for most of the time as a quite ordinary dance studio. But in addition to this feature, they have a fully collapsible audience seating for approximately 200 people and the space can be transformed into a black box theater. We had two shows there and everything was pretty easy going. I had bit bad premonitions about all of it because the negotiations beforehand were bit tricky, but all went well while finally there. Except for the fact that I had to construct some scenic elements the previous night before going there. - Local contact in Basel didn't deliver what was promised, but that has nothing to do with ADN.

In December I had some time to concentrate to my personal projects having finished touring in the beginning of the month. So I've managed to achieve a monstrous neck spasm by putting my new website online. It took more or less a month of fiddling and learning new ropes, but now it's up and running. Only minor fine tuning is missing. Pheww. Check out the fruits of my labor:

And please, do tell me what you think! All comments are more than welcome. I know the site doesn't really work on IE9, but that I can't fix with my skills. Sorry about that. I hate imperfections.

So, now the major undertakings of this year are pretty much in the fold and I can set myself to the Yuletide mood. Today I fished my Christmas ham project out of the salt water, so everything is proceeding according plans :-)

I'll try to manage to post some photos from the adventures of this year shortly. Until then I wish everybody:

Relaxing Christmas and luminous 1213!

Monday, December 3, 2012