Miradonna Sirkka | Living Like there is No Tomorrow
Stills from ‘Living Like there is No Tomorrow’. Photo credits: Noora Lehtovuori
25.02 – 27.03.
Physicality of Happiness
From 7:30 pm at SEA Foundation
Please be on time
and reserve a place by
In connection to Happiness
Miradonna Sirkka will be presenting
reflective ideas on the presence
and physical conditions
of her performative practice.
This project is part
of SEA Foundation’s longer-term
research on art and sustainability
in fold #03 on Happiness.
Exhibition & Performance
Each moment in a performance is unique, like a conversation is unique. It cannot be repeated, and one moment to the next already generates a new setting. Performance art is often site-specific and the genre has a one-off nature that touches on its relational character. Still, having interaction as the basis for a performance requires curated structures to be in place. In this light, performance-work depends on the response of the people involved at the time of the performance. Here, the human is the element that offers a different angle on performance and its choreography. In other words, each performance is made anew through the engagement of its audience. But what does it mean to wait for people to respond, and for the performance to happen?
The feeling of awkwardness is intrinsically human. Awkwardness is the intermediate phase between being comfortable and being uncomfortable. Through providing a safe space in her performances, Miradonna opens up space where a momentary encounter is possible.
Circus and performance
Living Like there is No Tomorrow is a conscious cross-contamination of circus and performance art. It creates a dialogue that leads a focus on the audience experience, rather than the stage. The audience, being the factor to open up exchange. Nevertheless, negotiating consent and power-relationships are essential parameters for the unpredictable to happen.
The space of unpredictability is what separates Miradonna’s background from circus to performance art. But the unpredictable cannot afford the perfectionism of the artist. She balances the line between entertainment and art, between script and improvisation. The locations for her videos are either pre-planned or by coincidence. For instance an airport, swimming pool, or the Acropolis. She might be somewhere for other reasons. Walking along with her hula hoop at a protest, she associated policemen lined up on horses to circus, and started the camera. Hooping in front of everybody then equals taking (social) space.
Through awkwardness, social roles and etiquettes are exposed, as well as what it means to be human and happy. Awkwardness reveals one’s inner dialogue, as well as projections on the other. This means, moments of awkwardness can catalyse change, as small as they may seem. Also described as daily activism, Miradonna’s work explores the borders of space, toleration and the absurd. Opening up this dialogue points to the personal, as well as shared experience. We are always surrounded with an audience, though not always aware.
Encountering the other and yourself through a performance, allows new thoughts and experiences to arise. This is when the actual performance takes place, and brings out things we did not know exist. The open mindset and flow where ‘Anything can happen’ is crucial for happiness. Moreover, the comfortableness of the body can be seen as an essential element, though a luxury for many. Being comfortable can be described in many ways, but mostly where the body can rest where wanted. Miradonna’s journey with hoops has similarly developed in her physical training, towards giving space to physical strain. Giving and taking space is relative to different bodies, and awkwardness offers an appeal to speak up, and say ‘hi’. Whether in performance, or ordinary life.
Research at SEA
The three-channel work Living Like there is No Tomorrow shows Miradonna hooping in different public spaces, along with a rhythm of narrated questions. The hula hoop is a massively popular, plastic children’s toy. As such, it symbolises familiarity and innocence, as well as loitering and capitalism. At the same time, the act circling a hoop is something very meditative and ‘useless’ – perhaps the best bet for public defiance.
While her performances seem lighthearted, her face is serious. And by closer inspection, the settings and responses of the people in them show the state of the world. They express something about human psychology towards an unexpected environment. While the hoop keeps spinning, people keep wandering, moving, ignoring, and try their best to make room for the performance.
The residency, exhibition and performance are all part of fold #03 on Happiness, SEA Foundation’s research on art and sustainability.
Read more on artist-in-residence Miradonna Sirkka.