Photo Petri Siikanen
RHIZOME PROJECT PROBES CORPOREALITY AT TEHTAANKATU PRIMARY SCHOOL
The Other Spaces collective has started a series of experiential and bodily workshops. Rhizome Project is based on the participation of Tehtaankatu Primary School students and staff and it will run for the next two school years.
The workshops look at the idea of the rhizome through various rhizomatic structures and phenomena occurring in the environment such as mycelium, underground cavern, the internet or ant colony.
Through these concrete phenomena, the workshop series directs examination also into non-hierarchical models of thinking and organization, where diversity, movement and free association are emphasized.
The Rhizome Project consists of a series of workshops and a video documentation that will be included in the collections of HAM. During the project, the artists of the Other Spaces collective, together with the pupils of the Tehtaankatu primary school, will develop a new exercise that the pupils can perform together with the personnel of the school, even after the project has ended.
The first Opening Rite workshops were realized with thirteen school classes at the end of August. The workshops were held by Eiranranta shoreline close to the new temporary school building, where the school has moved to the evacuation facilities for the period of renovation of the old school building.
The letters of the alphabet were a starting point of the Opening Rite. To warm up each participant embodied the letters of their forename by using different parts of their body. A short introduction was given about the origin of the letters. Finally, each school class wrote 4-5 giant letters over the green by walking in line and striving to find a walking rhythm uniting all pupils in the class. All letters of the alphabet, physically formed together by the students of Tehtaankatu School, were filmed from above and can be used as a visual element in different ways as the project progresses.
MYCELIUM, RAYS OF LIGHT AND ROACHES
The first Rhizome week of the project was organized in November 2020.
Translation in progress.
Emma Vainio: Rihmasto-hanke johdattaa koululaiset keholliseen oppimiseen ja epähierarkkiseen ajatteluun, Dance Info Finland 1.12.2020.
PERCENT FOR ART
The City of Helsinki adheres to the Percent for Art principle, which means that approximately one per cent of the City’s new construction and renovation expenses are dedicated to the creation of new public art. In recent years, extensive construction efforts have made it possible to commission art for many public buildings around the city. HAM Helsinki Art Museum serves as an arts expert in these projects, and the works are added to HAM’s art collection.
Rhizome Project expands the range of Percentage for Art projects. Due to its participatory nature, the work will be included in the collection of HAM Helsinki Art Museum as a work concept. The collection will also include video documentation and a new exercise developed by the collective together with the pupils.
BACKGROUND FOR RHIZOME PROJECT
Rhizome Project takes a close look at various rhizome-like phenomena in our surroundings. Using collective corporeal transformation exercises developed by the Other Spaces collective, we approach different rhizomeal creatures (such as fungi and mycelia) and phenomena (for example setts and other burrows, the internet, or gas and turbulence).
The rhizome is also a model of networked thought and organization, consisting of pluralities of things, movements, directions, and free combination, instead of hierarchical organization (e.g. Gilles Deleuze, Desert Islands And Other Texts 1953-1974, Semiotext(e) 2004).
EXPERIENCES OF THE PUPILS
The workshops concluded with a discussion session where participants could share their experiences. Here are some remarks made by the pupils:
”Mulle tuli sellanen olo, että oon oikeasti sieni ja maan alla.”
”Mun mielestä myös maanjäristys tuntui aidolta.”
”Oli kiva kokemus että osaan tehdä jotain outoja ääniä.”
“Tuntui että olin oikeasti auringonsäde”
”Vaikeaa oli ettei saanut puhua.”
“Rihmasto oli kiva kun siinä sai niinku levätä.”
“Opin, että sienillä on semmonen siellä maan alla.”
”Sienijuttu oli kiva, ehdin ajattelemaan siinä esimerkiksi elämän tarkoitusta.”
“Jäi torakkainen olo, rapiseva olo.”
“Opin mitä torakat tekevät yöllä”
”Mä tykkään siitä että leikitään mutta on samalla oppia. Tää oli hyvä harjoitus siihen.”
“On joskus vaan hyväksi rauhoittua ja rentoutua.”
Project Rhizome is a Percent for Art project of the City of Helsinki, and is realized in collaboration with HAM Helsinki Art Museum and Tehtaankatu primary school.
Working group for Rhizome Project: Johanna Etelävirta, Timo Jokitalo, Eeva Kemppi, Kaisa-Liisa Logrén, Minja Mertanen, Heli Mäkinen, Anu Nirkko, Sanni Priha, Jaakko Ruuska.
Working group for Opening Rite: Johanna Etelävirta, Eeva Kemppi, Kaisa-Liisa Logrén, Minja Mertanen, Heli Mäkinen, Sanni Priha.
Dokumentation working group: photography Jaakko Ruuska, still photograpy Sanni Priha, drone photography Petri Siikanen, sound design Jarkko Kela.
Rhizome Project continues until 2022. The next workshops will be held in spring 2021.
Photo Sanni PrihaPhoto Sanni PrihaPhoto Sanni PrihaPhoto Petri SiikanenPhoto Sanni PrihaPhoto Sanni PrihaPhoto Sanni PrihaPhoto Sanni Priha