Hard times call for gentle acts. Powerful resistance is nurtured by acknowledging vulnerability and arrives in the form of great tenderness and gentleness.
The feminist scholar Donna Haraway reminds us that “the world is not finished and the sky has not fallen — yet”. Instead of apocalyptic panic, she calls for practices combining thinking, love, rage and care*. Living and dying well are impossible alone; they happen together with other human and non-human beings.
The artworks at Baltic Circle make visible the vulnerability of humans, society and ecosystems and therefore call to be met with empathy and care. At the core of these works lie the body and body politics – different past, present and future bodies with their desires, struggles and domains. What matters are not just the topics the artists are working on but also the kind of practices they create as well as the communities and publics produced by their creation.
The Mammalian Diving Reflex collective together with local senior citizens grant us wisdom about romantic relationships and sexuality from the perspective of lengthy life experiences. The performance All the Sex I’ve Ever Had has toured four continents and arrives now at the Louhisali in Espoo. Baltic Circle has also invited the Sydney-based dancer-choreographer Angela Goh to Finland with two solo works staging apocalyptic creatures and techno-feminist hybrid bodies. The debut piece Thresholds by a pan-Nordic working group premieres at the festival. It guides us into experiences that surpass our everyday perception, inviting us to surrender to the uncanny. The powerful pairing of Sonya Lindfors and Maryan Abdulkarim invites us to dream and envision future decades and centuries around a shared dinner table. The festival activates dormant, hidden and rising futures and collectively reinforces them with fellow passengers from different walks and eras of life.
Welcome to all of you who find yourselves haunted by hardening values, an uncertain future and apocalyptic horror scenarios! Gathering around art can transform one’s worldview and create an unforeseen gentleness in the chilly month of November.
* Donna Haraway
Tentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene
e-flux Journal #75 – September 2016
Illustration by Nina Grönlund, Pauliina Nykänen & Kaarina Tammisto