Facing the unknown

Drawing: Lin Hixson

Lin Hixson & Matthew Goulish | 15.12.2020

                At 7PM 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 performance began with the softest imaginable light. It rose to illuminate …

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Tuntemattoman kohtaamisesta Oblivian kanssa | On encountering the unknown with Oblivia

Pikkukuvat: Saara Moisio, kollaasi Anna-Maija Terävä

(for an english version, see below)

Saara Moisio | 15.12.2020

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, että on itse turvassa. Kun esitys alkaa, ensimmäiset minuutit …

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A Christmas story

Annika Tudeer | 15.12.2020

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 plan. Her oven was a regular sized oven, which meant that the house that …

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Kohti tuntematonta

Saga Korkeamäki ja Marie Bergholm tekivät yhdessä podcastin aiheesta tuntemattoman kohtaaminen. Podcastissa he …

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December Flashback

Christmas is soon here! It comes every year and it’s always pretty much the same; spending time together with 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.

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Dear Oblivia

Image: Harvey, M. (2020). ‘Let’s share ground together’ Still from video. Camera by Tui Harvey-Jansen, grip by Sanne Harvey-Jansen. Performers: Lara Harvey-Jansen and Mark Harvey

Mark Harvey | 15.11.2020

Dear Oblivia,

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 for our experiments. Ready for the next two weeks. Who knows what will happen.

‘Ready, go!’

I …

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All is material

Photo: Bryan Saner

Bryan Saner | 15.11.2020

ALL IS MATERIAL

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, thoughts, viruses, experiences, places, and times.  

This body is material for making and grasping …

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Life lessons by Oblivia

Image: Heidi Backström

Heidi Backström | 15.11.2020

– 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) you don’t need to understand or rationalize everything that happens on stage.

Lesson …

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From Behind the Desk and the Sewing Machine | From Inside the Process and the Pandemic | Being with Oblivia in 2020

Photo: Tua Helve

Tua Helve | 15.11.2020

February

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 celebrate the premiere at the ECLAT Festival on 7 February from wherever …

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Costume

Annika Tudeer and Timo Fredriksson are interviewed by costume designer Tua Helve about the role of costumes in Oblivia’s performances. Video was recorded in July, 2018 in Pact Zollverein, Essen, Germany.

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November Flashback

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!

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“Is it a decision, or something that just happens?”

Photo: Yiran Zhao

Oblivia in conversation with N. Andrew Walsh | 17.10.2020

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 produce one of their performance events—it’s misleading to call them “theater pieces,” as …

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On the Skill to remain silent

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October Flashback

Fabric tests for Ka-Boom in Tutke 2014
At Bunker Theater Ljubljana 2014
Rigging lights in Ljubljana 2014
Costume fitting for Verdrängen Stuttgart 2020
Watching video of rehearsals in Berlin 2014
Programming the sound Stuttgart 2020
Rehearsing Entertainment Island I Glasgow 2009
Rehearsal stage in Eskus (Performance Center) 2014
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.

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Oblivia, rakastettuni | Oblivia, my beloved

Photo: Eija Mäkivuoti

[for an english version, see below]

Janne Saarakkala | 20.09.2020

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. Esitys oli jatkoa viimesyksyiseen You Can Call Me Art …

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To become part of, to be part of. Belonging.

In Corona times touring is rare. We made it to the SPOR festival 2020 in Århus and finally we are together working. Here we are after the show.

Annika Tudeer | 20.9.2020

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 chore lists passing by like a not all together pleasant memory of something …

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In Black Box

Photo: Meri Ekola

Meri Ekola | 20.9.2020

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 but never participated in them. “There you get so much for free”, as Annika would …

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Black Box

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.

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September Flashback

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!

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On Improvisation

Do Be Do, 2016. Cirko Helsinki. In front Anna-Maija Terävä, behind Maija Hirvanen and Mikko Bredenberg. A still image from a documentation filmed by Christopher Hewitt.

Anna-Maija Terävä | 15.8.2020

Introduction 

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. I will rather try and illuminate some perspectives on improvisation that have become important for me when …

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Introduction to Do What You Saw

Timo Fredriksson | 15.8.2020

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 to go about it!

Getting ready

The purely material requirements for DWYS are not that many. First of all they need …

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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.

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Improvisaatiosta ja tanssista

Anna-Maija Terävä Obliviasta ja tanssitaiteilija Pia Lindy keskustelevat improvisaatiosta osana teosten tekoprosessia ja improvisaation esittämisestä.

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August Flashback

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.

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THE TRUST PLAY

Drawing by Alice Ferl.

by Oblivia

PROLOGUE

Beaver & Bear

text by Meri Ekola and Tua Helve

performed by Alice Ferl and Stine Hertel, narrator Marty Berowski

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20 Food for Thoughts* on TRUST**

Felizitas Stilleke | 19.6.2020

Thinking is there to push!

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 for.

When in a shared, open situation that allows thinking to happen, I extend the limits of my trust to infinity.

Trust becomes …

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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.

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On Trust

Alice Ferl and Timo Fredriksson discuss on trust. Recorded in Pact Zollverein, Essen, Germany in summer 2018.

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