It is over and yet not over. It is here but gone.
The ground is shaking and I am confused. The unusually cold May and June would be good for hibernation, but the idea makes me shudder. No more isolation,… Read more
Obsessions – along the way
1. ANNÄHERUNG AN EINEN BEGRIFF
Als wir mit der Recherche anfingen, habe ich sofort nach einer Begriffsdeutung gesucht: was bedeutet Obsession? Wie verwende ich den Begriff, wie die anderen, was sind die Unterschiede? Erstaunlich dabei fand ich, dass es offensichtlich… Read more
"Dear Annika and Oblivia,
first of all I would like to just say thank you again for your wonderful work and collaboration with us in Bremen. Unfortunately I don't have any photos or videos from our time together (we should… Read more
As you know, the Obsessions Bremen version had its successful premier in February, against all odds (c-word). This was thanks to all the wonderful people in the first place but also thanks to a bit of good luck.… Read more
Physical direction, working in a collective, and the form and content of emotions
A conversation between Anna Teuwen and Annika Tudeer about the past, present and future of Oblivia. Anna Teuwen is a dramaturg at Kampnagel in Hamburg, and a… Read more
Oblivia equals happiness. What a joy working with this beautiful people. This is where obsessions become fun. Obsessed with… Read more
Costume design for kings and emperors,
happy peasants and Peggy… Read more
In a theater
a woman is singing,
the voice comes to me, like
the most condensed air I ever… Read more
Oblivia did the first steps trying to integrate new interactive technologies into the artistic work in 2017 through a partnership with TECHNE project at Theater Rampe and Künstlerhaus Stuttgart in Germany.
As a response to the project call we… Read more
We are in Theater Bremen!
We are working! We are having fun and enjoying ourselves in the big theater. We love ourteam and our studio has daylight. What more can one ask for?
That Obsessions will be coming up in a… Read more
In October Oblivia and Liisa Pentti +Co celebrated both companies 21 years with performances andsymposium under the umbrella Together in the Universe of Sound in Maunula-talo in Helsinki. On Friday the 29th of October 2021 we spent the day… Read more
Annika: It was wonderful to get to know you in our symposium in October and hear how you had come up with a lucid analysis on the premises for processes that we artists never are able to articulate and… Read more
In the Together in the Universe of Sound symposium we heard several aspects of working together with performing bodies, voice, space, norms, politics, music and sound, the possibilities and the challenges.In an artist dialogue, mezzo soprano Rachel McIntosh and… Read more
A: Why are you doing that?
B: I do it because you do it, I watch you doing it and I don’t want to miss out on anything
A: I did not know that you could do anything like… Read more
In continuation to Annika’s Christmas tale in 2020, this year, we invite everyone to enjoy the end-of-the-year season with the best delicacies we know… Around the world, with love from Oblivia members – wishing you happy holidays & some… Read more
whenever I have trouble organizing my thoughts clearly on the stage or on the paper I start to collage and see if I can visualize certain connections. Richard Foreman has, on his website a tab called notebooks - these are… Read more
Sound Installation and Solo for the Head by Yiran… Read more
This was the event we have all been waiting for, that was dreamed of and feared in advance. And later of course stories are told and legends are born.
The 21st of October happened the first Bauprobe in Oblivia’s… Read more
In the talkshow Annika Tudeer and the amazing duo NAF from Stuttgart are talking about gender, norms, fiction, bodies, spaces, music and sounds that create non normative spaces. NAF will soon visit Helsinki in… Read more
For our October Obsessions Diary I wanted to present a few photos taken in August 2021 in Eskus, Helsinki and excerpts from texts written in April, 2021. Both the photos and texts have been born when working with the… Read more
Wouldn’t it be lovely to unapologetically plunge into pondering over theatricality, emotions, politics, music in performative arts, and anything and everything we used to discuss to no end? As a scenographer, I would like nothing more than to do… Read more
I recently spent a few days locked up in what we call the analogue archive of Oblivia. Our archive contains material from the whole twenty one years of Oblivia´s existence so you can easily imagine what it looks like;… Read more
The obsessive goat singing on the mountain
---- Table theater on Koloman Moser´s painting (see above)
"I am a goat.
I live alone
I know there is a bear and a lynx living in the area.
We sometimes see each other from afar and we communicate by yodeling.
I have quite a big voice and i see very well.
I am good at climbing but i am afraid of hights.
My dream is to climb to the top of my home mountain so that i can see what there is on the other side of it.
I have planned the route very carefully but every time when i reach a certain point i have to come down again.
Sometimes i see the 3 singing shepherds and the 6 jolly hunters playing their instruments and it is nice but we do not really communicate."
Mountain song from Alice, edited by Yiran for brass instruments (excerpt)
Keywords: Capitalocene, Leftist Melancholy, the Cult of Vulnerability, Eschatology, Growth of… Read more
One of the key necessities to develop together in Oblivia always has been: spending time together in the same space. Enough of it. Physically. In the studio, some rehearsal stage or stage, in the kitchen during breaks, on the… Read more
It has been an exceptionally hot, beautiful and dry summer. Long days of doing nothing in particular at the summer cottage, surrounded by nature and the life on a farm where we are staying. The work is staying in… Read more
A couple of years ago I trained with a director who encouraged the group to play every day we were together; we played games, we built characters and stories, we ran about, we laughed - I hadnot experienced such… Read more
Olen parin viikon ajan ollut töissä Oblivialla. Minut palkattiin laulajaksi uuden teoksen harjoituksiin. Valmisteilla on musiikkiteatteriesitys nimeltä Obsessions, jonka ensi-ilta on Saksassa. Harjoitusperiodi alkoi Suomessa ja siihen tarvittiin vakituisten esiintyjien lisäksi kolme laulajaa. Sibelius-Akatemiasta löytyi kaksi naisääntä, mutta ei… Read more
When working in Oblivia the amount of the elements sometimes exceeds my scope. When trying to focus on what is essential, it seems like there is often something clear and sharp in the middle but also a lot of… Read more
Having just finished our latest Obsessions rehearsal period mid-May, I wanted to dedicate this blog entry for time. Time – abundance and lack of it!
However, in performance making, it is not only time but also, and more so,… Read more
Different ways of writing. Loads of writing. Writing as part of making sense of the growing understanding of what we are dealing with. Here are some examples. The famous lists on the wall in the material gathering phase, but… Read more
3, 2, 1 lift-off, a new Oblivia production has started! We are ready to dwell into everyone’s dreams, fears and wishes, we talk and talk, write, talk more, share our writings, improvise together with movement and sound, listen to… Read more
Annika’s Talkshow with Essi Kausalainen – Plants, trees and music theater
In Annika's second talkshow Annika Tudeer is in conversation with artist Essi Kausalainen on plants, collaborations and music theatre. You will also get a perception changing tip from Essi.
Essi Kausalainen is a Helsinki based artist whose works operate through performance, textile, text, audio and video exploring the sensuous capacity of our bodies and their philosophic and ethical materiality. Collaborating with plants and fungi, artists, musician, plant biologists and children, Kausalainen aims to escape the hierarchical and linear ways of thinking and operating. www.essikausalainen.com.
“– Find the edge between comfort and discomfort, the familiar and the unknown. Balance there, however precariously." 
I want to talk about the relationship between presence and crisis in performance. Considering it’s 2021 I suppose this combination of… Read more
Annika’s Talkshow with Veit Sprenger – So they both make operas
In Annika's first Talkshow Annika Tudeer discusses music, devising opera, art, covid-19 and much more with friend and colleague Veit Sprenger from the renowned Berlin based performance company Showcase Beat Le Mot. In the conversation they realise that both companies, Oblivia and Showcase Beat Le Mot are making opera and conclude happily that despite the distance they stay connected.
Pienen pohdinnan jälkeen tajuan, että en oikeastaan tiedä mitä musiikkiteatteri on. Onko se jotain, jossa kerrontaa kuljetetaan vahvasti musiikin keinoin? Pitääkö senolla laulettua vai riittääkö merkityksellinen ääni yhdistettynä lavatoimintaan?Nopsa googlailu tarjoaa laulun, musiikin, tanssin, näyttelemisen ja puhutun dialoginyhdistelmiä eri… Read more
From our first online rehearsal period in the beginning of December 2020. As no travelling or gatherings were possible at this time, most of us were working from home, some were in the studio sometimes. Each of us made… Read more
Fanfares! Haze! Applauds and confetti! With deep excitement, we, the Obsessions team introduce our personal relationships with music theatre – or how we experience it in February 2021.
Welcome to the blog… Read more
At 7 pm on Friday, February 22nd, 2019, we attended the performance of Nature Theatre of Oblivia at Link’s Hall in Chicago. Of all the things we could say about this performance, we will say only two.
First, the… Read more
Tiedättekö sen tunteen, joka tulee, kun istuu katsomossa ja odottaa esiintyjiä saapuvaksi? Tai katsoo esiintyjiä ja odottaa mitä he alkavat tehdä? Sitä yrittää pitää itsensä mahdollisimman avoimena kohtaamaan sen mitä tulee. Sitä haluaa kohdata jotain uutta ja tuntematonta luottaen,… Read more
Saga Korkeamäki ja Marie Bergholm tekivät yhdessä podcastin aiheesta tuntemattoman kohtaaminen. Podcastissa he keskustelevat aiheesta suhteessa kokemuksiinsa Obliviassa. Saga ja Marie ovat yhdessä kolmen muun nuoren kanssa olleet Oblivian mukana kansainvälisellä teatterileirillä Lyonissa, Ranskassa (Théâtre nouvelle génération) sekä mukana kahdessa Oblivian teoksessa; No(s) Futurs ja Children and Other Radicals. Nuoret ovat esiintyneet Oblivian kanssa mm. Helsingin Juhlaviikoilla Kansallisoopperassa, Live Art for Children -festivaalilla Aalborgissa, Tanskassa ja Dangerous Minds -festivaalilla Kampnagelissa, Hampurissa.
Oh these Christmas times. There is so much to do, all these things to prepare. This year I will make an even bigger gingerbread house.
Gretel Johansson took another sip of her morning coffee, wrinkled her forehead and started to… Read more
Christmas is soon here! It comes every year and it's always pretty much the same; spending time togetherwith the family, eating (too)well, decorating the house and the christmas tree, kids waiting for Santa to come, you name it. Christmas is repetitive and we love that repetition, we love to do the same things from year to year and that's good.
Your Flashback team wishes you
a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
- 46 things I’ve learnt by watching Oblivia’s performances, talking with the group and working with them
Lesson 1: You are allowed to laugh as much as you want to (as a spectator in a performance).
Lesson 2: (As a spectator)… Read more
We celebrate at Theater Rampe in Stuttgart, Germany. We celebrate my birthday and we celebrate our magnificent new work, the music theatre performance Verdrängen Verdrängen Verdrängen that has been created in collaboration with Yiran Zhao, our new partner. We… Read more
It’s three years to the day since our time together.
I enter the big old industrial building, hang my coat up, take my shoes off and walk into the studio with Oblivia. Tracksuit on, ready for action. Ready… Read more
The material world begins with my body. I am matter. I am material. It is a substance that perceives itself. This body is how I experience the material world. It’s a magnet for connecting to otherness - other bodies,… Read more
Annika Tudeer and Timo Fredriksson are interviewed by a costume designer Tua Helve about the role of costumes in Oblivia's performances. Video was recorded in July, 2018 in Pact Zollverein, Essen, Germany.
Just like everyone else, Oblivia too is thinking hard about its off stage presence. Color coordination is one important means to achieve this and it is not unimportant how the backstage snack buffet looks. These high visual standards are of course applied in all digital material Oblivia is producing. Besides on stage performances Oblivia has been broadening its presence through symposiums, workshops, photo exhibitions, AR experiences, not to forget all the rest more or less realistic side projects waiting to be launched!
This last February, Oblivia performed “Verdrängen, Verdrängen, Verdrängen,” a collaboration between the theater group and composer Yiran Zhao, at the Stuttgart ECLAT festival for new music. This was the first time the group had worked with a composer to… Read more
On the Skill to remain silent
Creating performances on stage requires a lot of skill from many fields, most of it very hands-on and technical. Hence the ultimate one that guides and unifies them all is the skill to imagine; how will a certain fabric react to a certain light, how the space will feel like when the curtains are pulled over the windows, how are the light elements placed on stage, how the actions are rescaled from rehearsal space to a real stage and how does this all look from the outside.
Tiedän, että olet ryhmä, koostut useista taiteilijoista, pysyvistä ja vierailevista, mutta tässä fanikirjeessä otan vapauden puhutella sinua yksikön ensimmäisessä persoonassa.
”Oblivia toteutti 5.-10.3. live-installaation Oblivia's Room, josta oli esityksiä päivittäin klo 18 ja 20. Teemana huoneet ja mitä niissä tehdään.… Read more
I understand the need to shy away from the word collective as in the article of Bojana Cvejic from 2004. Some curators had perhaps lived in a collective, and felt the smell of lentil soup and the sight of… Read more
The black box setting has been the context where the work has been created during my time in Oblivia. I have heard about the early adventures in hangars and other alternative spaces to create performances in the group’s history… Read more
Why black box? Meri Ekola and Annika Tudeer talk about the essence of black box for Oblivia's work. Recorded in Pact Zollverein, Essen, Germany in summer 2018.
What if Oblivia’s next performance would be created in a bouncy castle? These are some of the wonderful locations for the future we have scouted on our trips. Quite the opposite from where we usually picture our performances. After all these years there are times when one feels that some colour and softness is greatly needed to counterbalance the work in a black box!
In this text I will try and describe some elements of improvisation in Oblivia. I don’t try to grab on improvisation as an art form or sort out different performance practices related to for example dance or theater improvisation.… Read more
Bem, Bam, Bim and Bom have decided to try out Oblivias Do What You Saw method (from now on referred to as DWYS) using Oblivias DWYS manual as reference (currently out of print). Let's see how they are going… Read more
How To Do Do What You Saw
In this about 7 minute video Oblivia members demonstrate how to do Do What You Saw, in a nutshell. Do What You Saw (DWYS) is Oblivia's group practise for creating material for performances.
Improvisaatiosta ja tanssista
Anna-Maija Terävä Obliviasta ja tanssitaiteilija Pia Lindy keskustelevat improvisaatiosta osana teosten tekoprosessia ja improvisaation esittämisestä.
After a hot and sunny summer it's time to enter the cool and dark black box and start warming up the new season. Recollecting the work happens gradually. Sometimes memory does tricks to us as it did to Annika while working on SuperB in august 2013 at Avantgarden in Trondheim.
Trust SongSong and lyrics by Alice Ferl, sound design by Yiran Zhao.
On Trust, Tiger and TurtleText by Anna-Maija Terävä. Performed by Timo Fredriksson and Anna-Maija Terävä, narrator Annika Tudeer.
Beaver & BearText by Meri Ekola and Tua Helve. Performed by Alice Ferl and Stine Hertel, narrator Marty Berowski.
Meet Beaver & Bear, Turtle & Tiger and other charming characters of the Trust Play written by… Read more
1. Thinking is there to push 2. This works best when I trust my opponent or my fellow thinker and when I know where the bruises are lurking and and when the offence is deliberate and asked… Read more
Trust in Bringing Lived Life on Stage
Ilia Papatheodorou from She She Pop (D) in conversation with Annika Tudeer in a podcast about trust, age, economy, collectivity, success, fathers, mothers and much more. Recorded in June, 2020.
Alice Ferl and Timo Fredriksson discuss on trust. Recorded in Pact Zollverein, Essen, Germany in summer 2018.
Besides the hard work Oblivians also take time for resting in the sun, having a pool party, sharing a glass of cava, DJing the favourite tunes in a party, taking a selfie on a rooftop, organising dinners with friends, keeping fit with urban gyms, ordering the craziest dish of the restaurant’s menu, participating on suspicious tourist trips, drinking gluhwein, building an inflatable island, having always bun with coffee, wearing funny masks, climbing on a public art work, checking the map for yet to discover adventures..
You can fill the list with your favourite holiday activity!
In 2015 Oblivia created The Rave, a live streamed performance where four performers were dancing in the studio for 2.5 hrs. The video was live streamed around the world and to Mad House in the adjacent building. The video is from a rehearsal edited by Meri Ekola.
Koronaeristyksen keskellä mietin haikeana kommunikointia. Ääni kuuluu puhelimesta ja näytöllä näkyvät hymyilevät kasvot, mutta yhteinen hetki on vajaa. Myös esityksen kohtaaminen näytöllä on laiha lohtu teatterien ovien pysyessä kiinni. Kokemuksesta puuttuu olennainen osa, kun siihen ei sisälly erilaiset energiavirtaukset… Read more
Litteroi ja referoi mammutti
Kääri se kutsuvaan… Read more
Janne Saarakkala ja Annika Tudeer keskustelevat johtajuudesta kollektiivissa ja muista asioista jotka liittyvät johtajuuteen. Voiko kollektiivissa olla johtaja ja mitä sellaisella tekee?
Annika Tudeer and Timo Fredriksson talk about communication. Recorded in Pact Zollverein, Essen, Germany in summer 2018.
Here we are in the Swedish Theatre in Helsinki working on Annikas Sacre. Our dramaturg Lina Teir is watching while Annika is trying out “something” with sheets of sail fabric that our costume designer Tua Helve had brought in to be tested. Our sound designer Juuso Voltti is also trying out a possible idea for music.
It occurred to us quite fast that this is not the path to follow. Nonetheless the tryout was not worthless because all the material found its place in another context and in another form at the end. No matter how hilarious it looks right now, the video reminds us of all the possible directions there exists in the process of making and this is why it's nice to share it with you.
This text was was written between August 2018 and April 2020. It begun two years ago in the wake of Anna's death. Although today the present is so much more, well - present than the past and the beginning… Read more
Alice Ferl and Annika Tudeer talk about sustainability with a twist. Recorded in Pact Zollverein, Essen, Germany, 2018.
Christopher Hewitt has documented Oblivia's stage works for many years. In this podcast he and Anna-Maija Terävä talk about the purpose of documenting live performances. Recorded at Hangö Teaterträff Festival in June, 2019.
About a year ago Oblivia did the furthest trip of its history, a tour to US to perform Nature Theatre of Oblivia. At the moment as we are trying to get used to social distancing in all the levels of society, touring feels a bittersweet memory. Instead of attending performances they are now brought to us digitally through live streaming. We can experience art works from another side of the world real time from our living rooms. Technology offers us an access to almost every venue in the past and the present through excessive sources of internet.
Here is another, more analog take into documentation. Feels like these vivid drawings from a performance in Chicago by Mie Frederikke Fischer Christensen managed to capture the specific moment in time and the very essence of the piece. They nourish our imagination until we come together again.
Avoimuudesta ja uteliaisuudesta – tehtävänanto ja tematiikka oli
päässäni kääntynyt vapaudeksi. Ehkä yksinkertaisesti siitä syystä, että Oblivia
on näyttäytynyt minulle ryhmänä, joka on paennut kaikenlaisia lopputulemia ja
loppuun lyötyjä määrittelyjä. Eikö tällainen asenne edusta juuri vapautta? Vapaushan
juuri ilmenee avoimuutena ja uteliaisuutena. Vapauden… Read more
Olen useaan kertaan paikalle osunut kaveri ja kanssa-taiteilija sekä Oblivian vankkumaton ihailija.Oblivian perustaminen vuonna 2000 osui aikaan, jolloin itse vielä totuttelin asumaan Suomessa Amsterdamin opiskeluvuosien ja muun ulkomailla vietetyn ajan jälkeen. Ryhmän kollektiivisesti toteutuneet teokset herkuttelivat minimalismilla ja komiikalla.… Read more
On Intellectual Work
Alice Ferl and Timo Fredriksson discuss on intellectual work in the process of making a performance. Recorded at Pact Zollverein, Esssen, Germany in 2018.
En diskussion om att skapa ur ett mer än trettioårigt perspektiv med Annika Tudeer och Liisa Pentti (på svenska). Inspelad 2019 i Helsingfors.
Photo: Fabian Nyberg
While working on a new performance there always comes a moment when it is absolutely necessary to put all the materials, scenes, movements, texts etc on a big paper. This serves at least two purposes; it is good to see at a glance what one has accumulated so far and it is easier to start building a possible structure for the piece having the whole in front of your eyes. So the Oblivia archive contains a whole lot of papers like the ones in these photos.
Can you make the connection between the papers in the photos and Oblivias performances?
The first time to meet members of Oblivia, Oblivia, Oblivia, via, via,… Read more
“What are you verdrängen, Annika”, asks Alice in one scene that never made it to the performance. She continued explaining the shaming mechanism through the event of a cheese stick at a birthday party, where everyone laughed at the… Read more
Tua Helve, costume designer, and Meri Ekola, light designer, discuss on sharing. Recorded at Pact Zollverein, Esssen, Germany in 2018.
Behind every premier or performance there is a massive amount of hard work done by highly skilled professionals during long days. Only occasionally when the work at hand requires unerring artistic vision the performing artist might have to roll up his sleeves. Here's your chance to get a peek behind the scene before the show can begin!
Yes, it is only 20 years ago that Oblivia started out in the Tram Museum in Helsinki, looking for alternative ways of making experimental art together. The world was a very different place then. The fear of the millennium… Read more
Where do we store what we collect when we work collectively?
Making something together that does not belong to… Read more
Annika Tudeer and Christian Koch. A discussion on collectivity, Pact Zollverein, Essen, Germany 2018.
Annika Tudeer and Martina Grohmann, director of Theater Rampe. A discussion on art, politics and happiness, Stuttgart 2019 (in English)
In 2011 Oblivia was touring Scandinavia with the Entertainment Island trilogy. One day on the Faroe Islands while driving around and sightseeing our photographer Eija Mäkivuoti took a group photo with us waving at the camera. We did not know it then but a tradition was born. Nowadays, especially on tour there always comes a moment of ”we have to take a group photo. Okay, everybody smile and wave at the camera!” Here you can see the historical first photo and some later variations on the theme.