Aerial photo of a spring-time forest in which three people sit on white benches; the forest is split by white, rectangular lines.

Vuorenmaa, Utriainen, López-Lehto: Kortteli 526

Price: 10–20 € Length: 1,5 h Language: Finnish (8.6, 10–11.6) & English (9.6)

The aim of the land-use plan amendment is to place a commercial building block in area 526, which would allow a grocery store and related outlets, a fuel distribution point, and parking spaces to be situated in the area.
– City of Hanko, Kaupallinen palveluverkkoselvitys ja vaikutusten arviointi (2019)

A railway runs through the centre of Hanko, between two areas under transformation. 

On the south side of the railway, in block 210, a shop built in 1986 is whiling away its last summer. In the corner of the same plot, the foundations of a residential building demolished in the 1950s can be seen. 

To the north, there is a gap in the landscape, a sandy clearing where a new market is being built. A service station has already been erected next to it. Soon the land will be covered with asphalt, cars will be parked in rows, and people will step into the store. Solar panels will be installed on the store’s roof. The future of block 526 is under construction. 

Kortteli 526 is a participatory performance where the audience meanders and dwells in a changing city. The performance explores the power of zoning, the sensations inherent to the area, and possible futures. How does a city come into being, live, and disappear one decision at a time? 

Kortteli 526 is a part of Työmaa, a series of works that studies new construction sites of each performance location. Kortteli 526 is a continuation of the Työmaa works created in Rovaniemi in 2020–2022. The series continues in 2023–2024 in Kuopio and Helsinki.

Riikka Vuorenmaa is a versatile freelancer artist with an educational background in light design and media culture. As a scenographer and conceptualiser of performing arts, her specialisation lies in site-specificness, space design, and interventions.

Maarit Utriainen is a contemporary circus artist interested in concepts, contexts, and conventions. In her work, Utriainen questions the physical norms and dynamics of circus and aims to bring circus back to new realisations and societal dialogues.

Sebastian López-Lehto is a dance artist who utilises the bodily methods of experiential contemporary dance and creates plain but multisensory aesthetics. He is also interested in social-choreographic and communal conventions that weave together bodies, as well as the specific awareness that a sense of belonging can contain.

The working group’s previous works in the Työmaa series were realised as part of Riikka Vuorenmaa’s city art project Vaarat in 2020–2022. The works took place in residential and industrial areas of Rovaniemi.

Original concept: Riikka Vuorenmaa
Performers: Riikka Vuorenmaa, Maarit Utriainen, Sebastian López-Lehto
Planning: Maarit Utriainen, Sebastian López-Lehto

Works in the Työmaa series are co-productions by the working group and Piste Kollektiivi.

Kortteli 526 is part of Kulkue, a joint project between three Finnish art festivals. ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival (Kuopio), Hangö Teaterträff (Hanko), and Baltic Circle (Helsinki) create an exceptionally large-scale series of Finnish co-productions along with related tours. The project’s central goal is to promote the accessibility of the festivals and to prolong the life cycle of the performances. The project is financed by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.