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Evening class 15.11.2005
In co‑operation with Pekka Luhta, the TARU project held a performative evening class on Tuesday, 15 November, at 7–10pm. The education took place at Forum Box on Ruoholahdenranta. The class was attended by 40 students. Pekka Luhta oversaw the evening class.

Background information

Evening classes have served as a conceptual workshop for performance art and, more widely, for the whole range of modern arts. The main forms of education used are performative lectures, environments, and discussions.

The project was launched in November 2004. The idea was based on discussions between Luhta and students at the Academy of Fine Arts who were interested in the performance art and in finding a suitable, open form for handling the special questions of performance art.

The programme for the evening of 15.11.2005 was as follows:

Nikolai Klix: Fruit of the North – disabled contra pictures
Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo: I can’t bear it
Linda Arola: Dream of a soul – I don’t know
Esa Kirkkopelto: Body on stage, body as a stage

The common denominators of all presentations were body and corporeality, performance and performing. The artists who promised to be the teachers for the evening class had discussed these themes in their projects, in exhibitions, and through activities related to actualising the bodily presence with photographs or with photographic means in implementing interdisciplinary artistic projects.

Discussion was sparked by the photograph exhibition Fruit of the North, produced for the Rear Window in Kiasma by Nikolai Klix, displaying erotic photos of disabled people, and the biographical exhibition of Linda Arola, called ‘Farewell, cruel world’.

 Arola’s depictions of her personal feelings on death of the body and soul and on mental disability inspired the audience to share their views based on their own experiences. Among others, artist and writer Sirkka‑Liisa Sass spoke about the vicious circle that had been continuing for decades around her own body.

Jenni‑Juulia Wallinheimo shared her experiences of the stereotypes and conflicts that are often visible in the ways the disabled are portrayed. As part of the evening, the audience and lecturers commented on her picture series, which portrayed the disabled as cute and sexless garden gnomes, circus midgets, and funny and sweet dolls.

Esa Kirkkopelto talked about how differences can be seen as interesting, the power of paradoxes, and cathartic experiences.

The evening was concluded with a felicitous remark by Klix. He pointed out how a person’s defectiveness is clearly visible in a disabled body and therefore perhaps easier to face than general, invisible defectiveness is.

The evening class is one part of the three‑part co‑operation between the TARU project and Luhta. The co‑operation also includes a seminar on artists’ responsibility, held in Ateneum hall on 10–12.2005, and another performative evening class, to be held in February 2006.