Artists 2014



Mark Harvey is a performance artist from Auckland, New Zealand. New Performance Turku Festival presents two of his site-specific pieces, curated in collaboration with the artist including in the series of New Zealander performances We come from far away.

For the Love of Finland will be a public performance that tests out physical actions, physical endurance and reflexive discussion  with members of the public. The work will be approached from the perspective of exploring notions of being an experimental tourist  who through manual labour tests out notions of Finnish-ness in public spaces. The work will play with irony, humour perhaps and  obsessiveness, while delivering for the public ‘a true Finnish tourist’ who ritualistically projects stereotypes of touristic cultural spectacle where there is entertainment and a song and dance for one and all. Public monuments, squares and parks will be worked with as objects of touristic hope and explored in playful (and naturally of course respectful) ways. Harvey promises to be the nicest tourist in Turku.

Formal Responsibilities will consist of a series of live-in-the-flesh performance tests of the encounter between spectators and the performer, in relation to notions of productive idiocy and seriousness. The work will engage with physical endurance, choreographic actions, public and intimate disclosures that responds to the site in which the work is situated and is a development on Harvey’s series I am a wee bit stumped (2011-2013).

Mark Harvey (b. 1972) is performance artist from Auckland, New Zealand. He was selected for the Venice Biennale for Visual Arts in 2013, presented at the Trondheim Kunstmuseum (Norway, 2012), Siobhan Davies Studios (London, 2013), New Performance Festival (Auckland, 2012) and New Zealand Festival of the Arts (Wellington, 2012). He is a PhD and a Senior Lecturer at the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries at University of Auckland, and has published articles in ”The Swedish Dance History” and ”Performance Research”. He has also been published in a range of publications such as the UK Performance Research Journal and Barcode.



val smith is a performance artist and choreographer from Auckland, New Zealand.

Circle in Box (2013-2014) is a dance event, which challenges a spectatorial culture common in the context of ‘dance’. Affective methods of participation and activation seek to quietly disrupt acts of watching from a safe distance. Circle in Box folds into and out of layers of interaction by slowing, stilling, listening and modes of activated co-presence. In particular this work explores awkward and uncomfortable social terrains when encountering expectations of the performative event. With the proposed testing of alternative methods for engaging with performance the piece draws on somatic, improvisation and site-specific methods of interaction. Performance attendees are invited into an immersive experience. Circle in Box puts forward choreography as an alive ecology.

val smith’s piece Gutter Matter consists of six choreographic experiments performed in local street gutters at the pedestrian street of Turku city centre. This work draws attention to how city dwellers tend  to avoid, hide, block and disregard street gutters. As a metaphor for what is considered unclean, dirty, shameful or private in the human realm, the way the public plays out psychophysical and perceptual relationships with the gutter is explored performatively. I move between activating the space between my somatic involvement in personal and microperceptual responses to the gutter as a sensorial terrain and interrelations with passers-by. The choreographic experiments of Gutter Matters emerge as performance protests, dance classes and an inventory of psychic-behaviors.

val smith (b. 1973) is an artist based in New Zealand whose choreographic work focuses on the body as a site of political inference. Their performance-making seeks to unsettle a dominant conceptions of what dance is. Drawing on somatic, improvisation and site-oriented practices as well as queer and feminist theory, they also make use of performance and live art traditions to question the parameters of these social contexts. val smith’s work experiments with perception and interrelational encounter in the creation of immersive and site-oriented environments for performance attendees. Their  work has been presented in New Zealand, Australia and the US as part of festivals, curated events and as independent productions.

The pieces are curated by FT Mark Harvey in co-operation with the New Performance Turku Festival. The works of val smith are a part of the New Zealand collection at the festival, called We come from far away.



Future Hotel is an artistic partnership of two New Zealand artists, Stephen Bain and Nisha Madhan.

Bain’s and Madhan’s collaborational duo Future Hotel present their work What have you done to me? It is an absurdist cabaret of obsession. Two personalities drift through the four phases of obsessive love – Attraction, Anxiety, Obsession, Destruction. Through each phase they use game structures to coax the audience and each other to confront their own constraints. Ultimately What have you done to me? is a kind of confession – a dance around love, obsession and hopefully desperate situations.

Stephen Bain’s solo piece This means you occupies the city as a temporary structure,
looking for connection and solidity yet simultaneously avoiding either. Woven plastic tarpaulin, ubiquitous to the urban landscape, is both camouflage and the giant elephant
in the room as it enters the dream-world of the city. Coming to life it breathes potential as it moves through the public space with clownish unpredictability.

Stephen Bain
 (b. 1966) is a live-performance and theatre-maker from New Zealand. His projects have toured in New Zealand and internationally to arts festivals, live-performance venues and street-theatre festivals in Australia, Singapore, Netherlands, France, Belgium, UK and Canada.  Bain has taught in The National Drama School in Wellington New Zealand and at Massey University (Dept of Spatial Design and Drama Dept), Victoria University of Wellington (Dept of Theatre & Film), Ucol (Acting Studies) and WPAC (actor/dance training).  In 2012 Stephen was artistic director and curator for a festival of cross-discipline live-art, the New Performance Festival in Auckland. His current projects focus on the interface between performer and audience, choosing to create performance in primarily public spaces and most usually combining installation, live performance and audience interaction. Stephen has used unusual performance spaces like shop-windows, disused buildings and the natural environment, he has also been commissioned through local city councils to create performance works that question the relationship between public and private.

Nisha Madhan (b. 1982) is an actress and director of Indian decent based in Auckland, New Zealand. She collaborates with musicians, performance artists and actors creating performances based on game structures and ideas of inclusiveness. Nisha is also an actress whose face is regularly seen on New Zealand television screens.

Bain and Madhan’s piece in the festival is curated by Dr Mark Harvey in cooperation with New Performance Turku Festival.

THIS MEANS YOU from Stephen Bain on Vimeo.



White on White is an artistic relationship between Iggy Malmborg (SWE)and Johannes Schmit (GER). The aim of the duo and the series of the same name is to investigate, criticize and affirm the identificatory process between white audiences and white performers on stage. At the New Performance Turku Festival they will present their latest work Queer Sells.

WHITE ON WHITE “#6 – Queer Sells” from Kanuti Gildi SAAL on Vimeo

In #6 – Queer Sells White on White researches on the latest, most sophisticated strategies through which WHITE subjects maintain their power position and succeed in dissimulating their identity as winners of the globalized world. In the upcoming piece the male duo therefore reveals the secret recipe of their future success on the art-market: presenting a sophisticated montage of signifiers of the mainstream with signifiers of a possible minority-status. In the case of White on White: the strategic combination of Whiteness and Queerness.

The attempted pinkwashing of our company follows the example of power´s contemporary grammatics: “Yes, I am the president of the united states and male – but i´m also black” or “yes, i am the chancelor of one of the most powerful countries in europe and white – but i’m also a woman.” are the speech acts wedded to the future consistency of power.

Queer Sells is claiming language to be the ultimate signifier of reality: what i say, is who i am. Working in the theatre space, being a sphere that traditionally produces temporary realities – exactly through speech – White on White take their specific medial turn on the question: Is there any way to make a performative utterance on stage that transgresses the temporality of the theatre space ?

We want to explore a different way of identifying ourselves onstage – as Judith Butler put it “a certain comedy emerges when “queer” becomes so utterly disjoined from sexual practice that every well-meaning heterosexual takes on the term.” We wanted to embrace this absurd notion by presenting a queer performance duo consisting of two straight white males.

– White on White

By and with: Iggy Malmborg and Johannes Schmit
Light design: Daniel Goody
Production: White on White
Co-production: Inkonst (Malmö)
In collaboration with: Sophiensale (Berlin), Kanuti Gildi SAAL (Tallinn)
Thanks to : Inter Arts Center (Malmö), Folkuniversitetet (Malmö)


Essi Kausalainen (b. 1979) has been active in the contemporary art scene since 2000 making performances and exhibitions around Europe, America, Asia and Africa. She focuses on biological phenomena and relations between the performance and the audience. In addition to her performance work Kausalainen is active in the field of visual arts.

The festival presents a durational performance installation Volatile Signals, that researches plant thinking as a performance. Kausalainen has also co-operated with a plant ecologist Matthew Robson from the University of Helsinki, and their discussion at the Titanik-gallery is part of the festival programme. In addition to plant ecology and -philosophy the piece Kausalainen has been inspired by feminist research, quantum theory and Zen-poetry.

A thematic and ethical basis for Kausalainen’s work is her interest for nonverbal communication between different species. She is also enthralled of complicated interaction between people, plants, animals, minerals and objects. In her work the place, different organisms and objects become equal performers with the human body. The final piece comes together in the form of living performance, video, object installation and textual material.



Anaïs Héraud
(b. 1988) is a performance and visual artist living and working in Berlin. She recently performed at  Casa de la cultura Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia, Panoply  Performance Laboratory in Brooklyn NY, and “Westgermany” in Berlin. She also initiated the female-identified collective “Dealing  with normative gaze in performance art” and is part of the curatorial team of Month of Performance Art Berlin 2014. She co-runs the trimestrial event “Reflektor” focusing on the interplay between performance art and sound art.

Compulsion-Attaque is a research on the language of social and political activism. Héraud investigates the complexity of the affects that go through the body in situations of tension in demonstrations. She’s focused on emotions generated by two different types of violence, that go through the body. One is defined “Compulsion”, which is a type of violence that is contained in the body and “Attack”, which is the expression of its saturation. She’s collected banners, flags and memories in demonstrations that will generate a narration in movement, activated by the action of her body – and the spectator’s gaze.



Mac Ophélie  is a Parisian performance artist based in Brussels.

Iconic #4 is created by fascination of transformation process. Mac Ophélie tries to emphasize the process and the gesture from the studio to the warm-up and the changing room, all the way up to the scenic space. In her sculptural work the body operates as a symbol of subtlety. The memories of the body are embodied in clay forms of the half moving, half dead-material, in her ceremonial of the multiple. In her rites, through her objects and sculptures, she questions her own physical language as well the gender and the femininity. The important is not what she is wearing but what she is removing in her process of being a woman.

Ophélie’s piece Training will be presented at the festival evening programme Night Vision Club on friday the 3rd of October.

Ophélie (b. 1988) has studied at the La Cambre Arts Visuels University in Belgium. Her performative work consists of new techniques of ceramics and the presentative work of a performer: she has created a Bootyshake workshop and reigned as icon in the Brussels evenings, examining different forms of femininity. Her work is a constitute of her body and its limits and the means of the ceramics. She has performed alone and within groups in Paris, Strasbourg, Brussels and more recently in Japan.

Ophelie Mac – Trouble – Les Halles, Brussels – 26-27 Apr 2013 from A Space For Live Art on Vimeo.



Trans-Horse: HKI-TKU-HKI (2014) project studies contemporary horse culture in Finland and advances travel by the horse between the cities of Helsinki and Turku. The project has started with the artist Eero Yli-Vakkuri learning how to ride a horse. Yli-Vakkuri has had no prior experience with horses – hence the impact of being introduced to horses has been radical. As a highlight of the project Yli-Vakkuri rides from Turku to Helsinki. The journey begun August the 19th from Turku city centre, where the New Performance Turku Festival wished the entourage a safe trip. The tour from Turku to Helsinki will be accompanied by blacksmith Jesse Sipola.

Yli-Vakkuri’s (b. 1981) experimentations with live art are primarily based on  audience participation. He develops site-specific projects that aim to understand and alter cultural and economic systems that effect human behaviour.

Yli-Vakkuri often works in collaboration with different artists and professionals. Aside from performance art Yli-Vakkuri is also known for his projects in conceptual art and his video art which often contains criticism towards technology and media culture. Yli-Vakkuri has studied carpentry, fine arts in Tampere University of Applied Sciences and he has attended the Master’s Degree Programme in Multidisciplinary Arts of Estonian Academy of Arts.

Yli-Vakkuri also attended last year’s festival with the performance Fractal Economy Now.



Maija Hirvanen (b. 1977) is a choreographer and artist based in Helsinki, Finland. Hirvanen’s solo and group performances have been presented in festivals and venues internationally and in Finland. Hirvanen’s education includes MA in Visual Culture theory and practice (Helsinki University of Arts and Design), BA / ‘Crossing Borders in Performing Arts’ and studies in dance. Hirvanen has participated as an invited artist in number of international artist laboratories, most lately the Flying Circus Project in Burma and Singapore. The Finnish national dance council has granted  Hirvanen with a 5-year artist working grant for 2013-2017. Hirvanen’s interests in art have included relations of art and different belief systems, collaborative processes in cultural practice, performance as collective memory and performance and every day media.

Walkapolis explores walking and performance in city environments. Walkapolis walks are not necesseraly art works, they are city walks in the context of art. Don’t expect to see art on these walks (even though you might), rather expect to see the city through the unique perspectives of the city guides. You get to walk the work.

In the previous walks the participators have dealt with problems and opinions of the other participants, caused a temporary (legal) road block and learned how to whistle inwards. Walkapolis guides have led the walkers into the worlds of street art, constructive disturbance in the city and culture jamming. Every walk is unique, because the city environment can never be fully controlled.

“Forget criteria and smell reality.”



Performance Voyage 4
is a series of international video performances. The theme this year is “Self-portrait”. The collection presents performance art on video by 15 artists and groups of artists, selected from pieces submitted through an international open call. The collection of self-portraying pieces challenges the viewer to reflect upon the self. The pieces bring out themes connected to self-portrayal, such as identity as acts and processes, autobiographicality and entitlement to one’s own story, the artist in a societal context as well as the self in relation to the other and otherness.

Performance Voyage 4 tours the world, besides Turku also in Rotterdam, Espoo, Piotrkow Trybunalski, Athens, Rio De Janeiro, Mallorca, Malmö, Milan, Barcelona and New York. The jury members for the Performance Voyage 4 were Taina Erävaara, Leena Kela and Timo Soppela. The “Performance Voyage” project started in 2011, in conjunction with the Amorph! Festival. In 2011 Amorph! was organized as part of the official programme of “Turku – European Capital of Culture”. After that Performance Voyage became a part of MUU’s annual project repertoire, and has year by year become an increasingly prominent international project.

 Performance Voyage 4 artists:

Anastasia Ax & Marja-Leena Sillanpää (Sweden)
Romulo Bañares (Spain)
Alex Bodea (Romania/Germany)
Elina Brotherus (Finland)
Cristian Chironi (Italy)
Chun Hua Catherine Dong (China/Canada)
Allison Halter (USA/Germany)
Constantin Hartenstein (Germany)
Marja Helander (Finland)
Marianne Myungah Kim (Korea/USA)
Verica Kovacevska (Macedonia/Switzerland)
Julia Kurek (Poland)
Marika Orenius (Finland)
Benas Šarka (Lithuania)
Minna Suoniemi (Finland)

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