Instant reflections is a series of notes and remarks by Nina Vurdelja about Moving in November festival 2022. These texts will be published throughout the festival.

Audience Body by Tuomas Laitinen, 10.11.2022, Zodiak

A love letter: to many, scattered, anonymous, yet a community, a body, together. An invitation: to read, to immerse, do digest, to witness, together.

The Audience Body seeks to make visible contours of the abstract notion of spectatorship, a possible space for the experience of art (event) to take place. Tuomas Laitinen’s artistic research questions the necessary conditions for the audience as a collective entity to emerge, to be formed, to act.

It provides points of engagement that aim to materialize the moments of reciprocity, exchange, creation and reception central to an artistic process.

The proposal works around the concept of the open space, where embodied constellations unfold at their own pace. The offering in form of immersive installation involving different materials and environments put forward textual content as a starting point of the happening. The passage of time, sensuous activation, and direction of attention do the rest. The feeling of interdependence, connectedness and common ground are co- and re-created by individual-collective bodies moving on the stage, indulging in the composition and breathing the same air.

Instead of conclusion: a shared experience, here and now, at the heart of the audience body.

DAWN by Sheena McGrandles, 10.11.2022, Tanssin talo

I choose my seat just in front of the two performers simulating sexual intercourse in the opening scene. It is going to be fun. It’s a musical, after all. But can a reproduction thing be entertaining? The worrying thought slowly lands as the first fifteen minutes pass. A feeling of restlessness, and a quick gaze over the audience tells me, this might be getting uncomfortable, intimidating and not-so-fun. Well, let’s stay with it, there is no way out anyways. (I am sitting in the middle row).

DAWN hits straight to the point. You cannot escape it, even if you try. The continuation of a kind, extension of yourself, ephemerality of one’s life, termination, choice, hope, regret, control, and confusion is probably what the human condition is pretty much about. Theory, art, science, and speculative futures could possibly soothe it, manage it in this or that way, and get it out of sight, but it still sticks.

In a brave queer-feminist spirit, the well-teamed group of artists behind DAWN face the myriad of questions, doubts, and alternative scenarios around the phenomenon of parenthood and the making of a family.  The eclectic mix of musical scenes, movement scores and choir numbers give birth to sharp self-reflection, a dash of parody and blurred boundaries of play and confession. Together, they create a necessary intervention into societal inertia, systemic discrimination and regressive structures tied to heteronormative discourse. Obviously, a “serious talk” can be fun. It can also be safe, warm, and playful.

– Nina

Nina Vurdelja

Nina Vurdelja is a performance researcher and cultural worker of international background, based in Tampere. Her interests reside around more-than-human sensuous encounters and ecologies of being together. She has been doing Ph.D. studies at Tampere University, dwelling in meeting spaces between culture, art, and philosophy.

Photo: Visa Knuuttila