Avanto << >> Suomeksi

Ohne performing at Avanto's opening event in Kiasma Theatre
photo by Anne Hämäläinen

"The jump into ice-cold water that forms an integral part of Finnish sauna culture is given the name »Avanto«. This traditional ritual is a brutal shock for the body, but its beneficial physical and psychological effect is undisputed. Since the year 2000 the word has also been the programmatic title of the young annual Finnish festival that concentrates on local and international »non-conformist« media-art activities.
The intermedial experiments gathered there, which break radically with conventional forms of representation and performance practices, and range from classics of avant-garde experimental film and live performances to the most recent digital (music) videos, are intended to achieve a similarly powerful effect. This is not necessarily pleasant, as was proven by the »Noise Performance« by the artists' group OHNE at the very start of the four-day festival. Moving through the room in strict formations, these »neo-Actionists« attacked the listening and visual habits of the audience with a chaotic mixture of digital and analogue noise improvisations. The listeners really were exposed to a very physically wearing ritual. At the beginning of the performance, the artists drew attention to themselves in the darkened room by producing noises resembling farts and burps. The audience reacted rather calmly to this provocation, coming as it did after the screening of two films by Kurt Kren and Ernst Schmidt jr. whose transgressive potential would be hard to surpass."
Christa Benzer, Springerin 4/2004