A Great Mess is a site-sensitive performance that approaches the site as a historically unique multispecies meeting place. The performance takes place during sunset and journeys among sun-scorched thymes, discarded matter, porous skin, surrendering, earthmoving machines, and the landscapes of human imagination.
A Great Mess offers new perspectives on the vast web of interdependencies in which we exist together with other organisms and materials.
A Great Mess forms part of a series that the WAUHAUS collective will be working on during the upcoming years. The works will transport viewers to locations ranging from landscaped landfills and seagull-populated beaches to a silent, abandoned power plant. Their performances mark an uncompromising attempt to understand how humans fit in as part of a multispecies continuum. Their works are not narratives lamenting the destruction wreaked by modernization, but a sincere effort to fathom how we can foster new life skills in the era of eco-crisis.
The members of the WAUHAUS arts collective involved in this piece are Laura Haapakangas, Juni Klein, Samuli Laine, Jussi Matikainen and Jarkko Partanen, with additional contributions by evolutionary biologist Aura Raulo and performers Per Ehrström and Sara Grotenfelt, producer-performer Mira Eskelinen, curator Kristiina Ljokkoi. set design assistans Siiri Matinpuro and Mikko Salminen, and sound design assistant Timo Tikka. The producer of WAUHAUS is Julia Hovi.
Production: HAM Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki Biennial, ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival & WAUHAUS
Supported by: Kone Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation, City of Helsinki, Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Stiftelsen Tre Smeder sr, Konstsamfundet, Kulturfonden
Sponsored by: Jalas, Houdini, Varustenet, Ruohonjuuri, Canto Group Oy, Sevon Oy
A Great mess
In 2023 WAUHAUS created A Great Mess – The Manual. The manual consists of a script and instructions for restaging WAUHAUS’s site-specific performance A Great Mess. The public were invited to attend the original performances at Vuosaarenhuippu as part of the Helsinki Biennial and in Kuopio at ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival in 2021. The manual is a poetic chronicle of the performance and its themes, individual scenes, visuals, sound, and the route walked through the terrain by the audience. The exhibited manual is printed on a paper made from nettles gathered from Vuosaaren Huippu and it's proximity.
The manual and the video work Some Unexpected Remnants, as well as documentary material from the performance have been accessioned to the City of Helsinki’s art collection, which is managed by HAM.
A Great Mess – The Manual is part of HAM’s group exhibition Shared space that focuses on art in public space and reflects on coexistence and the sense of place. The exhibition is open March 3–August 13, 2023.
The working group of A Great Mess – The Manual: From WAUHAUS Juni Klein, Samuli Laine, Jussi Matikainen and Jarkko Partanen. The visuals are based on photographs by Katri Naukkarinen and Pekka Mäkinen and video by Jonatan Sundström. English translations by Essi Brunberg, Aura Raulo, Heidi Soidinsalo. The paper is made in Helsingin Paperipaja by Astri Laitinen.
11.8.2021, 6 pm (EET)
WAUHAUS’s seminar takes viewers to four different landscapes. The live seminar from Vuosaarenhuippu takes participants to different landscapes with guest speakers to observe perspectives into interdependencies between humans and other life forms. The event will be streamed via Zoom and Helsinki Biennial's Facebook page. The seminar is in Finnish and will be published later as a recording on the Helsinki Biennial's YouTube channel and in Vimeo. The recording is subtitled in English.
Aura Raulo, evolutionary biologist, artist, and Pietist, works as a researcher at the University of Oxford and University of Turku.
Terike Haapoja, visual artist living in New York and Inkoo.
Päivi Magga, Vuohčču, Sápmi – Vuotso, Sápmi. Working on a doctoral dissertation on the Sami cultural environment at the University of Oulu.
The event is part of Helsinki Biennial’s programme and produced with the Biennial and HAM. WAUHAUS will moderate the event.
The event on Facebook
Helsinki Biennial, Helsinki
A Great Mess is situated on a hilltop called Vuosaarenhuippu, a former landfill that has been converted into a recreation area.
A Free-of-charge bus transport to the location and back is provided, so please arrive on time.
TUE 24.8. | 19:00 (in Finnish)
THU 26.8. | 19:00 (in Finnish)
FRI 27.8. | 19:00 (in Finnish)
SAT 28.8. | 19:00 (in Finnish)
SUN 29.8. | 18.45 (in Finnish)
TUE 31.8. | 18.45 (in Swedish)
WED 1.9. | 18.30 (in English)
THU 2.9. | 18.30 (in English)
FRI 3.9. | 18.30 (in English)
SAT 4.9. | 18.30 (in English)
Registration via Helsinki Biennial
Meeting place: Mosaiikkitori bridge, Vuosaari
A few practicalities to remember before participating in the performance:
Due to the difficult landscape, the performance site is unfortunately not accessible. The performance is held outdoors in the evening, so please prepare yourself with warm clothing that suits the current weather conditions.
During the performance we sometimes move on high hay, so we recommend wearing clothes that cover your whole body. It is also recommended that you bring your own water bottle. We will provide you with shoes appropriate for the terrain to be used during the performance.
The maximum number of participants is 45, and we hope to see all registered participants in the performance. Using a face mask is recommended during the performance. If you have any symptoms of flu, i.e. a runny nose, cough, sore throat, headache or fever, please stay home.
If you cannot make it to the performance due to sickness or other reasons, please inform us immediately at: email@example.com
ANTI Contemporary Arts Festival, Kuopio
A Great Mess transports us to a waste disposal site – the largest landfill in the Kuopio area.
TUE 14.9. | 18:00 (in Finnish)
WED 15.9. | 18:00 (in Finnish)
THU 16.9. | 18:00 (in Finnish)
SAT 18.9. | 18:00 (in English)
Meeting place: Maljalahdenkatu, behind the City Hall, Kuopio
DOCUMENTATION - SHORT EDIT
"Nordsjötoppen blir mötesplats för ekologi och teknologi i scenkonstkollektivet Wauhaus nya verk A great mess." - Otto Ekman, HBL 25.8.2021
"Wauhaus-ryhmä toi Helsingin ehkä uskomattomimmalle paikalle Vuosaarenhuipulle teoksen, joka vie katsojan flow-tilaan ja muuttaa ajattelua" ★★★★★ - Maria Säkö, HS 26.8.2021
"Suurenmoinen sotku harjoittaa taidelähtöistä poliittista ekologiaa. Se osoittaa kytkennän ja monilajien yhteydet. Se herättää eloon maiseman. Se saattaa minut vuorovaikutukseen ja kohtaamisiin Vuosaarenhuipun monilajisen maiseman, sen kerrostumien ja kasviston, sen historian kanssa." -Hanna Helavuori
A Messy Seminar
FULL DOCUMENTATION OF A GREAT MESS IN HELSINKI