Welcome to the world of strange creatures!
The endless depths of our imagination are inhabited by weird and wonderful creatures. It is home to the fantastic beings of our playful mind, warning monsters, mythical deities, species that no longer exist, and those that are yet to come. These beings take shape in the boundaries of our senses, feeding from our frights and dreams.
The participatory workshop-performance Collection of Imaginary Beings opens the door to a space where the creatures of past, present, and future generations are able to get together. The performance borrows its name and aims from The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges and Margarita Guerrero, which illustrates the virtuosity of our playful mind.
The performance invites people of all ages (from 6-years-olds and above) to imagine together and share their imaginations during an event that takes place in the Hanko City Library, a places that corresponds with our imagination by enclosing all times, forms, and ideas in one place. Through bodily exercises that are suitable for everyone, imaginary beings come to life as our embodied experiences.
The participatory performance consists of five parts. The performance begins with the “Introductory Lecture about Imaginary Beings”. The participants learn about different subtypes of imaginary beings, such as creatures from fairy tales, political monsters, mythic deities, and species that are extinct.
In the workshop “School of Imaginary Beings”, which takes place in the City Hall green room reserved for the performance alone, the participants are introduced to the collective’s exercises, and they learn to embody imaginary creatures by various techniques.
During ”The Individual Journey of Discovery”, the participants prepare themselves for the Final Exercise by collecting parts of imaginary beings from the library with a technique taught by the artistic team. In the “Final Exercise”, the participants embody the imaginary beings of each others’ dreams, and they might even see the imaginary beings of their own imaginations.
The “Final discussion” is an important part of the performance, as it offers the participants a possibility to share their experiences. After the discussion, the participants can draw their creatures and add them to the Collection of Imaginary Beings.
Other Spaces is a Helsinki-based Live Art collective founded in 2004. The core of their work is based on collective body exercises that bring audiences into contact with different unfamiliar forms of being and experiencing. In other words, the exercises let us visit “other spaces”. The exercises are based on the idea that getting in touch with different forms of experience can alter us and our behaviour thoroughly. It can increase our understanding of the mutual equality and interdependence between all kinds of living beings.
The work premiered on 6 September 2020 as part of TEHDAS Theatre’s and New Performance Turku Festival’s programme at the Turku Main Library. The premiere was produced in co-operation with TEHDAS Theatre and Kampnagel.
Performers & text: Eeva Kemppi, Kaisa-Liisa Logrén, Minja Mertanen & Jaakko Ruuska
Production: Other Spaces