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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.