A Great Mess is a site-sensitive performance staged by the W A U H A U S arts collective on a hilltop called Vuosaarenhuippu, a former landfill that has been converted into a recreation area. The hilltop provides sweeping views of the surrounding woodlands, suburbs, water towers, cranes, containers, and ships coming and going in Vuosaari Harbour. Over decades of urban development, the site has served as a dumping ground for surplus excavation material – earth, boulders, stumps, and trees – in a process during which the park has evolved into a unique ecosystem shaped through continuous human interaction.


The performance approaches the site as a historically unique multispecies meeting place. It looks at how the place came into being through the interaction of soil, countless organisms, and human imagination.

A Great Mess visualizes how the vast web of interdependencies in which we exist with other species has gradually evolved and continues to evolve each day.

A Great Mess forms part of a series that the W A U H A U S 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, Anni Klein, Samuli Laine, Jussi Matikainen and Jarkko Partanen, with additional contributions by evolutionary biologist Aura Raulo and performers Per Ehrström and Sara Grotenfelt, and producer Mira Eskelinen.

HAM Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki Biennial, ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival & WAUHAUS 

Supported by: Kone Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation,  Stiftelsen Tre Smeder sr, Konstsamfundet, ANTI - Contemporary Art Festival





Part of:


A Great mess

WAUHAUS and Helsinki Biennial present:

A Messy Seminar 
2.6.2021, 6 pm (EET)

WAUHAUS’s seminar takes viewers to four different landscapes. The live seminar from Vuosaarenhuippu takes participants around the world 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 on 2 June 2021 from 6 to 7.30 pm (EET). 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.

Seminar speakers:
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

W A U H A U S A Great mess working group
W A U H A U S A Great mess
A Great Mess