A New Project on Nordic Architecture and History

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Vision Forum is proud to announce that our partner organisation Tomorrow’s Art Audience has been given a grant to develop an interdisciplinary project about Nordic history and architecture. The project which is called “Sensing Landmarks” is a multidisciplinary and multisensory investigation into half a dozen, diverse Nordic architectural sites carried out by a group of artists from multiple disciplines. For each site they develop specific scripts, choreography, music, videos, scenography, food and drink to create experiences for the five senses. The project uses art in order to find new perspectives on history and architecture in three Nordic countries.

The choreographers Carima Neusser (SE) and Sara Gurevitsch (FI), the composer J.A Wilhite- Hannisdal (NO) and the visual artist Carola Uehlken (DE) form the core group. They create multisensory walks where all five human senses are activated in creative ways. An example of a guided tour inspired by the baroque era can look like this:

The audience gathers at the harbour in Helsinki where a ferryboat approaches. Guides in extravagant costumes and highly decorated hairstyles (inspired by baroque church interiors) invite the audience to join the voyage. The trip takes them to the old fortress Sveaborg. On the boat the audience is given an introduction to the visit and served a sparkling drink that is both beautiful and delicious. Once on the island the guides mix poetic, fictional and factual descriptions of the various sites. The bastion is shaped like a star and the guides invite the audience to reflect on how, during the baroque, man’s understanding of the stars and celestial bodies changed. The group enters the star-shaped building and meets a video, sculpture and sound installation that reflects further on the topic. The audience interacts with the different elements by looking, touching, smelling and listening. The tour continues: the audience meets a contemporary choreography where theater lights and music flood the old military building. The tour ends with a food tasting ceremony where artists, invited guests and audience eat and can discuss the experience together.

Bringing art in dialogue with modern and historical architecture opens for new perspectives on Nordic culture. What happens when an image of a neoclassical Swedish church is projected on the walls inside a disused Karelian mine? Or when a dancer is moving to traditional Norwegian music in a vault? By overlapping diverse artistic expressions and historical eras, the project creates new perspectives and provokes the audience to think in new ways.