Performance: Unusual Companionships—Alena Tereshko & Antti Kukkonen


Alena Tereshko & Antti Kukkonen

Unusual Companionships - Alena Tereshko & Antti Kukkonen
Sunday September 12th, 16.00 hrs.
Kontula's shopping center, across the playground courtyard.
Duration of the performance: 45 min.

Participants are kindly asked to bring their toys or toy-like things for a Q&A with the performers. The event will be followed by a gathering with warm drinks and music.

“Unusual Companionships” is a curatorial inquiry conceived by Fjolla Hoxha, Dash Che and Suvi Tuominen for the Museum of Impossible Forms. For the three artists, ‘togetherness’, ‘showing up’, and ‘unusual companionships’ are the guiding concepts in their curatorial thinking. These concepts point toward becoming visible and being present together in whatever way possible as an incongruous group with different practices, contradicting ideas and needs. For that, Hoxha, Che and Tuominen focus on curating a program built on performative gestures with the potential to extend to the outside (streets, parks and other public and semi-public spaces of Helsinki) and transgress the bonds that expand from the companionships between the artists and their performative human and other-than-human partners with random and intended audiences.

“Unusual Companionships” are the kind of bonds that spring from the strangeness of certain connections, especially those that can be easily dismissed and go unnoticed, paying attention to artistic practices that are merely visible, mundane, or too intimate –with a special focus on the practices developed throughout the pandemic time.

The first artist invited to practice unusual companionships in public is Alena Tereshko who will collaborate with Antti Kukkonen in “A Crime of Passion", a performance where the artists delegate their actions to toys who organize an amateur street theater. Alena Tereshko and Antti Kukkonen have been working with soft toys addressing difficult topics for the past two years. Their project is called “KotiOdysseia” (Home Odyssey) and started when Alena moved to Finland. During the pandemic, their practice has been mostly private - they organized toys’ elections in their apartment, interviewed toys about politics, food, and their dreams and desires. For Alena, a recent immigrant who often has felt invisible and out of place in Finland, working artistically through toys has been a way to mediate her fears and uncertainty as an artist in a new country during the lockdown. Now the artists and the toys are going public and organizing an amateur street theater. After the theater play the toys will invite the audience's toys or toy-like things to have a Q&A with them.

The performance will take place across the playground courtyard in Kontula’s shopping center. Tereshko chose the place of the performance because to her it felt transitory, anxiety-ridden, yet a very familiar place that corresponds with their ongoing inner state of uncertainty.

Alena Tereshko was born in 1986 in the city of Ishim, Tyumen region. Alena studied at The Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design. Her art practice is diverse: she works with performance art, video, and graphics. Often, in her artistic research, she focuses on the body and its representation. Alena is particularly interested in the intertwining of contemporary and tradition, in the relation between images and perception, and, generally, in opposite categories and their points of contact.

Antti Kukkonen was born in Helsinki in 1975. He graduated with two master's degrees, philosophy and political history from the University of Helsinki. Currently, Antti writes a blog and researches the philosophy of history.

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