Maria Oiva & Topi Kohonen   5|7  7PM (GTM +3)
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Maria Oiva & Topi Kohonen: TENSIONS in Jyväskylän Kesä Festival (www.jyvaskylankesa.fi).
Tensions is based on shibari, the Japanese art of rope bondage that is part of BDSM culture. The work consists of creating and undoing bindings according to shibari aesthetics.
The work examines the processes of using and giving power, conventions and the tensions that emerge between them, watching and the state of being watched. What affects us when we watch so-called kinky material? What do we want to see and what not?
At the same time, the piece explores the relations between BDSM and theatrical practices, alongside the tensions created between rope and the body, the eyes and ears, mind and flesh.

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Maria Oiva works cross-disciplinarily in her roles as a theater director and a performance and media artist, both in Finland as well as internationally. Recently her focus has been on the development of a digital stage concept. In 2019 this work earned her Theatre Info Finland’s TINFO prize. In addition to her boundary-stretching artistic work, Oiva serves in key positions of trust in the field as a speaker and as an invited expert. In her work, Oiva often addresses themes related to gender, sexuality, desire, and power. She works with new forms and concepts which rethink the meaning of viewing and role of the viewer. She has extensive experience with performances that focus on the viewer’s experience of the body. For Oiva, critical thinking is vital in more than the final artistic product; it should extend to the methods and entire culture of working.

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Photo: Stein Valkoinen

Actor and performer Topi Kohonen graduated from Tampere University’s degree programme in theater arts in 2014. He earned recognition for his studies with a Kesko stipend along with receiving the 2014 master’s thesis of the year award. In his graduate work he explored, through the use of puppet and object theater, the possibilities of the performer’s body and imagination in relation to the stage. In his professional career he has worked primarily in theaters throughout Finland, most recently in Vaasa. The Hot Box will be his third collaboration with Maria Oiva.

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