Переосмысление территорий

Reconfiguring Territories

Territooriumite ümber mõtestamine

Uudelleenmäärittyvät paikallisuudet

This is a subtitle.

Welcome to Narva varialambo!

The artist-duo varialambo is currently at the Reconfiguring Territories research residency in Narva. At the beginning of their residency, we discussed getting to know new places, their first impressions of Narva, and the plans they have for their residency.

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Hello varia and lambo! You have been in Narva over a week now. How did your residency period start?

We arrived during the preparations for Narva Music Festival and the opening of a new exhibition. The house was full of energy and excitement and we got to enjoy different inspiring shows. Johanna the artistic director of NART and the other residents have been very supportive and welcoming and we have been sharing thoughts and helpful information during spontaneous dinners.

Have you developed ways or methods to get to know a new place? Is there something you do to situate or ground yourself to the social, natural, political environment?

At first we usually check out the local food situation. Since we found some stands with self made food just around the residency – pickled and fresh vegetables, honey and home made pelmeni – it is very hard now do widen our radius to other parts of the city (laughing).
As a method we both like to go on long walks. During these walks we usually find inspiring objects and materials to use for sculptures and locations for possible performances or shootings.

Narva with its abandoned areas invites you to go on little adventures every day and we are finding material to work with all the time!

Right now our walks are a little bit shorter since I am in the 9th month of a pregnancy.

Thats exiting! Does that influence your work?

Yes and no. Art always feels like a source for excitement and relaxation at the same time.
My big belly seems to reinforce that.

In your residency open call proposal you wanted to focus on public space, control and women. You wanted to take the time to explore how the use of public space and its apprenticeship, especially at night, remain different for men and for women. How has your project evolved since then?

The idea to work on this topic came through our experiences in Berlin, were we both grew up. We had just arrived in Helsinki when we made the proposal for Narva and had heard from a friend that she had been attacked during the night and after that the promise of a “safer” surrounding in Finland fell apart. Of course we knew that compared to other countries Finland still offer much more safety day and night for women but with this incident in mind we started to be as careful as we were before in Berlin.

A lot has changed since then. We got the chance to get to know Narva better during a short December visit last year. We heard from locals that even though domestic violence against women has been increasing during the lockdowns, the public space in Narva seems to be safer compared to other cities. It felt strange to keep researching in this direction during our residency and we decided to shift to another direction which is related to the previous approach.

What is it?

After the long awaited #metoo movement we have finally learned new tools to make the every day violence we have to live with heard and seen. It is followed by something which we now call the “cancel culture”, an understandable step in order to get necessary space to heal and have some distance as a survivor of violence. Nevertheless this step should be only one of many and not a stopping stone of communication which it also has become. In our work now we are trying to be gentle to the delicate thread of communication. It seems to us more likely as some say, that every thought in oneself is of the greatest importance for the whole world. We are trying to look at it not as a metaphor.

In your proposal you position your practice at the intersection of Art and Violence, and write that you aim to create utopian social fantasies where violence in general is extinct. How do you approach making these fantasies? How do you plan to make them present in Narva?

About 10 weeks ago Lambo had a dream of somebody who stretched out his arm but then the same arm appeared from another direction and touched body parts of that person. We immediately started shooting video material for it. We felt a connection between the dream and the issue of communication. As a preparation to our residency Lambo learned Russian and shortly after the first Russian poem developed POEM TO PARTICIPATE WITH THE BODY FOR TWO AND MORE.

At first we wanted to use it as an opener for a possible workshop but soon we realised that this would be the starting point for our new work.

We have shot video material in Helsinki and will continue this here in Narva. For this we are collaborating with Kush Badhwar (editor) Valentin Kimstedt (composer) and Graham Valentine (voice artist).

The idea is to create a sculptural installation made out of material gathered in Narva and to finish the video work to be shown in one of the exhibitions spaces at the residency.
Its exiting to get in contact with the Russian language for this work. It feels like an exercise to keep the discussion culture going in times of violence and war.

As a second project we will work with a local choir on LOOK BACK AND LAUGH, a sound installation and workshop idea we started in Helsinki 2019. The idea is to create a symphony of laughter. We will record the workshop sessions and individual laughters and if possible even find a way for a spontaneous live performance.

The fantasy is to be able to simply look back and laugh. This project is an important counterpart to the topic of violence. We can’t take away the pain and the memories but for a moment when we all laugh together, we will at least feel happy.

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POEM TO PARTICIPATE WITH THE BODY FOR TWO AND MORE
varialambo
narva / may 2022

varialambo

varialambo
As a duo varialambo (Varia Sjöström, visual artist, musician and performer Hatz Lambo, visual artist, poet and performer) we formed in Berlin in 2018.


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Salla Valle

Salla Valle (b.1990) is a Helsinki based visual and performance artist currently studying at the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki in the department of time and space. Valle compiles her works out of often minimal elements using the context, situation and body in themselves as materials. She is interested in the esthetics and politics of everyday life and is drawn to the unpredictable nature of the live situation.

Live-Action Role-playing the City – Workshop Open Call

Live Action Role-playing the City
LARP (Live Action Role-Play) -workshop
June 3–5, 2022
Narva, Eastern Estonia
In English
20€

During the weekend Narva unfolds as a series of spaces, events, and creatures. The cityscape gives a frame for the exercises and at the same time, the exercises become active players in the city.

Live-Action Role-playing the City is a weekend-long workshop that explores performative artistic research in the context of urban surroundings. How can cities be approached by means of LARPs? How can LARP exercises be used for questions dealing with the city? What kind of power structures emerge?

In the workshop, participants read texts, build scenarios, write characters and do performative walking exercises in the context of Narva. The workshop will begin on Friday, May 3 at 4p.m. and end on Sunday, June 5 at 3 p.m. 5-8 participants will be admitted to the workshop. Register by May 22.

The workshop is intended for spatial practitioners, researchers, and students who are interested to work site-specifically in the context of public space.

No Live Action Role-playing experience is required.

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Register by providing short answers to all the six questions below.

Register by May 27, 2022 23:59 (Finnish time UTC +3). We will send an information letter to all workshop participants on May 29.

Send your answers to: applications@reconfiguringterritories.net

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1. Name, or how you would like to be called
2. email address
3. Where do you live at the moment?
4. Write shortly what you would like to learn from Live Action Role-playing the City.
5. How did you hear about the workshop?
6. Anything you would like to ask us?
GDPR Agreement (By sending the answers to us, I consent to having this website and the organizers of (Re)configuring Territories to store my information for registration evaluation purposes.)

Workshop mentors
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Kaisa Karvinen

Kaisa Karvinen
Kaisa Karvinen is a Helsinki-based architect and writer interested in the intersections of performativity, public space and collective unlearning. Kaisa’s practice consists of different forms of constructing and writing, usually in multidisciplinary groups.

Salla Valle

Salla Valle
Salla Valle is a Helsinki based visual and performance artist currently studying at the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki in the department of time and space. Valle compiles her works out of often minimal elements using the context, situation and body in themselves as materials. She is interested in the esthetics and politics of everyday life and is drawn to the unpredictable nature of the live situation.