Other Spaces workshop. Kuva: Laura Jantunen

Other Spaces to deliver transformative exercises at Wiener Festwochen 

The Finnish Live Art collective Other Spaces will give a workshop together with the Brussels-based artist Kate McIntosh during Wiener Festwochen in September. 

Minja Mertanen and Esa Kirkkopelto from Other Spaces will share methods based on collective bodily exercises that bring participants into contact with unfamiliar forms of being. In other words, they call on their participants to visit “other spaces” by taking on and trying new ways of experiencing – such as imaginary beings, reindeers, cars, or other non-human shapes. The members of the collective work on a weekly basis developing new exercises while continuing to build on old ones. 
The collective gave a virtual workshop on their methods in December 2020 when the second pandemic wave hit Finland. One of the participants was the renowned artist Kate McIntosh, who soon thereafter suggested they give a workshop together at the international performing arts festival in Austria. The workshop aimed for professional artist will present methods used by McIntosh and Other Spaces to create artistic works, as well as discuss the ethical questions regarding the use of participants’ bodies in performance. 
We’re excited to present our methods at the Wiener Festwochen. Our aim is to continuously develop our methods and our teaching. So, to do this in collaboration with others is a means to an even deeper level of learning,” says Minja Mertanen. 
Other Spaces present an approach to artistic work that is unique. In a time of ecological disaster, they offer a sustainable alternative for working with performance as their work is solely dependent on the bodies that are present. Their exercises – currently over 200 – are recycled while new ones are being created for productions such as Collection of Imaginary Beings (2020), Great Barrier Reef (2018), Wolf Safari (2014) and Reindeer Safari (2010).
We’re looking forward to collaborating with Kate McIntosh. We’re happy to share our working methods with her and with the workshop participants. We’re also grateful for the opportunity to be able to present the work of Other Spaces to a wider audience.” 
Next up, after their workshop at Wiener Festwochen from September 5 to 7, 2021, is a German premiere of their most recent production, the forementioned Collection of Imaginary Beings at the Kampnagel festival in Hamburg. 

TINFO’s LUO project brings Finnish theatre makers and performance artists to their European colleagues. Among the most important places for such meetings are curated festivals, where like-minded artists can introduce their works for one another, and agree on future meetings and collaborations. The Other Spaces collective is part of the LUO project, which is supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland. 

TINFO 27 May, 2021

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