Kiasma-lehti | Kiasma Magazine
Kiasma-lehti 43 | Kiasma Magazine 43
No 43 Vol 12

Theatre Now and Tomorrow

Dialogue, performative installation, performance demonstration, workshop event, social card game tournament, video essay, lecture performance, timespace, club, artist laboratory...

Events at /, the festival of performance art now in its fifth year, refuse to stay under the definition of theatre. Nor does the festival wish to draw firm boundaries between artistic disciplines. It is intended specifically for works that are difficult to pin down. Their starting points may be in theatre or the performing arts, but definition is a matter for the future. The festival itself is nebulous and eludes definition, the very point being that it is not a performance art institution that remains unchanged, but an unfinished series of events that also involves the potential of failure.

/ is planned in close collaboration with artists, and conversations between professionals, feedback from projects and networking are among the most important aspects of the festival. People attend in order to learn and to share their experiences. Sometimes the public is allowed a peek into the work processes.


Theatre brings people together, but at / this does not necessarily happen in the same place or even at the same time. Yet there is an underlying spirit of community in the festival. One theme in this year’s programme is societal approach.The festival brings to the public two international visits and presents the very latest in performance art. Theatremakers Pieter De Buysser from Flanders and Jacob Wren from Canada ask themselves what optimism can mean in today’s world of financial crisis, climate change, rising rightwing ideology and ever harder values. Artist Ong Keng Sen from Singapore conducts an artist laboratory that looks into the craft of performance art.

Finnish names in the festival include Tellervo Kalleinen, whose Recycling You performance likens old opinions to old clothes. The conversation card game by Lauri Wuolio features one hundred most common arguments used in social debate. At the Secret Retraining Camp by the In Other Spaces ensemble, people search for an experiential connection with lifeforms alien to humanity.


The / festival has networked actively with European partners. One of them is the Intersection project, funded by the EU, whose participants come the Czech Republic, Italy, Serbia, Hungary, Latvia and England. The project investigates the relationship of performance to visual arts, video, installation, architecture and new technology.

The project focuses on artist exchange. In the space of three years, experts, researchers and artists from a variety of disciplines come together to have meetings, seminars and workshops. The aim is to create a foundation for a research process that investigates contemporary performance art, multidisciplinary performance, as well as themes and approaches to performance.

Intersection is part of PQ11, the Prague Quadrennial. PQ is an international event that showcases the work and achievements of scenographers, costume designers and theatre architects as well as light and sound design, theatre technology, installation and performance. The Intersection performances at PQ vary from encounters between viewer and performer in small, intimate spaces to large spectacles. The event brings together theatre professionals from about 60 countries. Intersection performances will be seen at the / festival in October 2011.


Finland is often cited as the promised land of summer festivals and events. However, the darkest time of the year in the autumn and winter is not without its bright spots in the form of performing arts festivals that are now developing their cooperation network.

/ at Kiasma Theatre and other festivals affiliated with Kiasma – Moving in November, Baltic Circle and Lens Politica – all offer their own, distinctive performances and experiences. Their common goal is to offer highquality international performance art to ever widening audiences.

Piia Laita
Communications Manager, Kiasma