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Animation by Merja Isokoski


R.I.P - a multi-artistic installation about death and grieving

Above: sample from stop-motion animation by Merja Isokoski
made of 600 phographs was visually inspired by silent films of Secundo de Chomon (1871-1929).


R.I.P. is a  live installation of 9 Finnish artists. Performed through February/April 2011 as an opening project of the New Takkahuone Gallery at the Aboa Vetus/Ars Nova Museum in Turku. 

The project included as well a vast community outreach program.

The new gallery ‘Takkahuone’ opened with a multi-artistic installation. The installation R.I.P. by the collective Andrea O. dealt with death and grieving. The work was realised as a collaboration of the artists during the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. It was displayed at the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum from 11 February until 17 April. The collective started the project by gathering material connected to sorrow, loss and death. This material was gathered from the media, virtual communities, professionals working with death, sorrow groups and individuals. The collective examined, how death is dealt with in our society, how discourses of sorrow and death are created on the Internet, and how professionals working with death see death and those who have to face it. On an individual level, the group followed the traces that the death of loved ones leaves in our minds and bodies, and how these two levels intertwine. Material from the group members’ own experiences of loss were also included. In addition, the group examined, how the fear of death or its acceptance is set in us. The collective approached the theme of death through visual arts, embodiment and contemporary dance and making new works. In many of the exercises, they moved from one area of the arts to another: the exercise of the choreographer continued as a vocal exercise. Stories of loss connected to clothing continued as searching gestures of life in our bodies. All of our exercises were not successful; it is not necessarily easy to cross artistic borders; even for professionals. When dealing with death, one inevitably has to face things about oneself, that may be unpleasant.

R.I.P. was built from five visual elements, including lights by Antti Helminen, photographs by Aura Saarikoski, moving image by Merja Isokoski, a video collage by Anja Puntari and set and costume design by Johanna Porola. The space also included Anja Puntari’s audio work from recordings made during the process. In addition, violinist Laura Kokko’s music and audio artist Bilwa Costa’s abstract sound art made up the sounds of the space. In Costa’s work, his recordings as well as recordings sent to him during the process by the collective were heard. Docent in art education Mari Krappala, who acted as a mentor to the collective, was responsible for the theoretic side of the process. Every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. live performers who were part of the collective, and visiting performers, were present in the exhibition space. Maria Nurmela was responsible for the choreography, and she was also performing in the space together with dancer Salla Kärkkäinen. With their presence the dancers were in dialogue with the visual world of the installation; both by movement and by stillness. The collective wished that the audience will come into the space to remember their losses; to grieve for something that is still ahead; for a quiet moment dedicated to an emotion or person; and to see what loss could be to another person.

Read "NARRATIVITY – Artistic Research on Death and Sorrow" 
by Mari Krappala from the book "PHOTOTHERAPYEUROPE Learning and Healing with Phototherapy", including R.I.P, page 25. 


The Andrea O. collective was composed by: 


Maria Nurmela (dance and choreography), Mari Krappala (theory and curating), William Bilwa Costa (sound), Eeva Hannula (photography), Antti Helminen (light), Merja Isokoski (photography and animation), Katja Juhola (image), Hertta Kiiski (photography), Laura Kokko (music), Salla Kärkkäinen (dance), Minerva Martiskainen (sculpture), Johanna Porola (costume and set design), Tiina Palmu (photography), Anja Puntari (media art), Aura Saarikoski (photography).

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