“In the small hours of the night somewhere between sleeping and waking, I came to notice he was standing there between our bed and the window. I got up and embraced him. It felt good, profound and real. Then he slowly disappeared out of sight. I was not afraid nor did I think I was mad. The feeling was more a surprising one, as well as a grateful one. That I could see and feel him again.”
The starting point for the performance Thresholds is experiences that surpass our everyday understanding. Talking about and examining uncanny occurrences can be charged and tricky, even if studies show that such incidents seem to be as common as heart arrythmia.
The research material for the piece is a series of letters deriving from Professor Marja-Liisa Honkasalo’s research initiative Mind and the Other. Media coverage on the research triggered more than two hundred individuals from around Finland to share their own uncanny experiences with the researcher. Honkasalo subsequently wanted to share the material with artists with the idea that the arts – and a collaboration between the arts and science – can address topics where the language and methodologies of science reach their limit.
The group is composed of pan-Nordic performance artists who will create a site-specific work based on the letters. The piece invites the spectators to re-examine their everyday surroundings and to embrace the uncanny.
Quote from Mielen rajoilla – Arjen kummat kokemukset (eds. Marja-Liisa Honkasalo & Kaarina Koski. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2017)
Working group: Daniel Andersson, Valborg Frøysnes, Anni Klein, Tatu Nenonen, Pyry Nikkilä, Heidi Soidinsalo, Sinna Virtanen
Producer: Jonas Welander
Co-produced by Baltic Circle
Supported by Kulturkontakt Nord, Arts Council Norway, Government Grants for Artists Norway, Suomen Kulttuurirahasto, Taiteen Keskustoimikunta, Suomen Akatemia
Photo: Otto Donner