BERLIN · the 8th edition of the CO-LAB performance art program will be co-produced by artist/curator Leena Kela, in collaboration with the Freies Museum Berlin inside the frame of the Month of Performance art. four Finnish artists: Leena Kela, Thomasz Szrama, Kimmo Modig and Juha Valkeapää have been invited to Berlin for one week to collaborate on a new works.
this special edition dedicated to Finnish performance art is comprised of two collaborations between two different pairs of artists. CO-LAB has decided to focus on Finland as a way to learn from and highlight the unique contributions the country has made to the field of performance art. Finland has a remarkable structure to support performance artists and festivals, placing Finland and Finnish performance artists into a position of status within the discipline both nationally and internationally.
the first pairing of artists, Leena Kela and Tomasz Szrama, will take a look at the dynamics between Kela, who is a native of Finland and Szrama who is originally from Poland. despite their distinct cultural starting points, the artists share an interest in addressing similar political, social, human and cultural issues connected with global and local realities. on the one hand we have Tomasz Szrama in his daily life routine haunted by a tragic nostalgia of a Polish past, attempting to look at “normality” as a local phenomenon while living in a foreign country (Finland). on the other hand Leena Kela often starting with a specific fictional character or an alter ego, and thereby proposing an enchanted lens for a reflection upon several contemporary issues, related both with local and global phenomena. CO-LAB 8 will be the first time both artists will collaborate artistically, although they have previously worked together to organize several performance art events in Finland.
the second grouping is formed by Juha Valkeapää and Kimmo Modig both born and based in Finland and both working between sound art and performance. both artists are interested in the micro worlds of sounds, amplifying their existence and giving a voice to small, unspeakable, inanimate things. Valkeapää uses his voice and body as main tools in his performative works. In his works he can become a melody, a portrait, or even an inanimate object. Modig's practice relies on the amplification of small sounds, taking their daily existence and framing them into extraordinary experiences. in a mixture between live actions, pre-recorded sounds and video projections, Modig deals with simple topics, raising questions and unfolding them into complex narratives. by placing these artists together, CO-LAB is attempting to embrace, physically and conceptually, sound oriented works, aiming to stretch the landscape of possibilities inside the program frame.