Predictions -performance

Performance, 3 hours, 2015


Viitahuhta_ennustuksia_press02Ennustuksia (= Predictions), press image, photo: Marja Viitahuhta

Sandcastle in press photo: Marja Viitahuhta, Niilo Viitahuhta, Amanda Vähämäki, Lyyra Eronen, Kosmo Eronen


About the work

Location: Kiasma Theatre foyer, duration: 3 hours, Performance language: finnish

Through the ages, people have been interested in what’s about to come. Personal future and the destinies of the intimates have made people turn to fortune-tellers, soothsayers and oracles. Religiousness on the other hand has brought answers to questions regarding existence and time. We live in an era that is characterized by the unpredictability of the future as well as the growth of research-based knowledge and the growing concern about the state of the world and the role of the man in relation to it. Dystopias regarding climate change, famine, immigration and inequality is viewed as a nightmare that might come true.

In the performance Ennustuksia (Predicitions / Prophecies) we hear youngsters speaking out loud various visions of the future that are dressed as personal prophecies. The structure of the performance is ascetic – chairs, performers and the talk of the performers, nothing else. The prophecies heard in the performance mix fiction into research information as well as the youngsters’ own thoughts about their future.

Directed by: Marja Viitahuhta
Script: Marja Viitahuhta and working group
Working group: Siiri Rajalin, Katja Eskola, Iiris Laisi, Inka Degerman, Mette Järveläinen
Thank you: Taneli Viitahuhta, Azar Saiyar, Kallio library
Video documentation: Azar Saiyar



ennustuksia dok kuvaPhoto: Katri Naukkarinen / Kiasma


Excerpts from Ennustuksia / Predictions:

The first thing I see is a girl running towards me. She is shouting out loud, waving her arms in the air. Behind her there is a man, her father perhaps. He is also shouting something. Then I hear it, it is english, run, run. I slowly twist my body, turning, and there, behind and below the hill there, below me, in the landscape, there is something massive that stops my motion.

They arrive like the rain, like a cloud. I remember having visions of the crickets like this, whilst reading the bible as a kid, the eqyptian crickets. I remember reading the moomin book by Tove Jansson and the crickets in it that ate the forest as they went on by. The catchers have set themselves around the field on all corners and sides, there are not so many of them, not like in the traditional fishing cultures, more like aerial video shooters, standing by with their digital remote controllers and meters, in their black outfit. How come the color of the outfit is black, to begin with? The net they have spread is like a giant spiders’s creations with its nylon texture blinking to me when the sun hits it.

I step into the elevator, I choose minus 13. My ears lock, I stretch my neck and rub my ear with my thumb. Hitting my floor I walk through the inner yard onto section D. I say hello to my neighbour with the magnolias and crysanthems by the wall. The new brightlights have a more pleasant, matte tone to them. The artificial sky is half cloudy. I scan the electric lock open with my fingertip. The synthetic smell of my apartment irritates me for a second before I get used to it. I open the tv and the landscape screens.





First there is nothing

  • Installation, single channel video installation, three channel sound, loop duration 7 min, 2013
  • Single channel video,  duration 3 min, 2016

A one-shot image of a blizzard: snowflakes and wind. The image is simultaneously a still shot and full of movement. Accompanied with a voice-over text on how things are born.

Credit list:
Directing, script, cinematography, edit: Marja Viitahuhta
Sound: Tuukka Haapakorpi
Voice-over: Marja Viitahuhta
Production: Marja Viitahuhta
Support: TAIKE Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Kone Foundation


Live performance and performance texts, 2009 – 2013


spotlight zodiak still for webSpotlight, still from documentation video, Zodiak / Esitystaiteen markkinat, Cable Factory, Helsinki 2012


Duration: Performance duration varies (7 min – 50 min)

Performed in: Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum, Supermarket Alternative Art Fair (Stockholm), Esitystaiteen markkinat – performance event at Zodiak, Cable Factory (Helsinki), Yle 1 Radio broadcasting channel, Fluxee performance event (Turku)

Publications: A version of the performance text has been published (in finnish) in Esitys -lehti 2/2011

Download PDF-version of the publication here: Esitys 2:2011 – Esitys-lehti – Todellisuuden tutkimuskeskus

Download the texts in english for reading: SPOTLIGHT long text  / SPOTLIGHT list 0-100


About the work

Spotlight is a minimalistic performance based on a playful approach towards textual structure and an experimental study of performative situations. It can also be understood as a performance lecture on this topic. It is a performance dealing with the grounds of performance via the deconstruction of the classical setup of performing under the light of a spotlight. The monologue performed in the piece is also based on a structure of one text divided into a list from 1 to 100. This list repeats the individual words, building up to a sentence and unravelling into bits and pieces again.

Several versions of the performance have been made, one of them for the national radio broadcasting channel Yle 1.

The performance is based upon a text written in the form of a list, where the performer describes the performance itself. The performer stands in a spotlight, whilst the rest of the room is dark. The short version of the performance lasts about seven minutes but can be looped several times in a row (as was done in the version performed in the Kiasma Contemporary Museum of Art).

Also, a longer version of the performance and the monologue text exists and was performed in the Fluzee performance art event in Turku 2011.  This version had inserts of other textual material embedded in the performance, which on their behalf described other events. These inserts functioned as examples of the styles of performance writing and dramaturgical means. In later performances this text has been available for the audience in the performance venue. This longer text is a 4-page long sentence with the inserts mentioned above, an analysis of aspects related to performance.


1-100 text excerptSpotlight, excerpt of the performance text


Spotlight, live performance (with longer text) dur: 20 min, Supermarket Alternative Art Fair, Stockholm 2012

Documentation photos: Marjo Levlin


Gray insight

C-print, 30 x 30 cm, 2013

Gray insight 01


About the work

This text-based work is created for the Huuto Alphabet project and group exhibition. The text is created as a variation of a google poem. First the word grey was searched with several internet search engines. Then the resulting websites were inspected and the sentences with the word grey were selected as well as the sentences followin thatg word. Lastly, the word grey was removed from the text material. The result is a text that defines different understandings and interpretations of the concept and meaning of grey without it ever being mentioned.

Download pdf -version of the work here: Gray insight 02




I don’t remember this

Short film, duration: 11’20”, 2012



A work about filling in the missing bits of memory with fiction. A silent work about absence and loss. A work shot at an inherited family house: a place to which the author is linked to via personal, imagined memories.


Credit list:

Directing, script, cinematography, edit: Marja Viitahuhta
Actor: Alpo Aartola
Assistant: Taneli Viitahuhta
Producer: Marja Viitahuhta
Production fund: AVEK
Thank you: Joonas Kiviharju, Tanja Tiekso and Taneli Viitahuhta



Stoneforest / Letter to my father

1) 5 -channel video installation, mute, each loop duration 1 – 2 min, 8 mm film to HD-video (2006)

2) audio text, duration 20 min /  a handout text (2006)


About the work

This installation consists of two individual works exhibited simultaneously. The works are an audio text entitled A letter to my Father  and a 5 -channel video installation Stoneforest. The text has also available as handouts in the exhibition venues.

Download a shortened version of the text here (pdf-file): A letter to my father audio text


stoneforest in stuttgartStoneforest and A letter to my father, exhibited at Stuttgarter Filmwinter, 2008


Both of the works are combining the concept of loss with playfulness, mystery and fantasy of childhood experiences. They are personal in their tone, yet keeping parts of their content vague and dreamy. The text in A letter to my father is dedicated to my father, who died when I was a newborn baby. It describes events from my childhood including my father’s death and its aftermath – in other words things beyond the reach of my actual memory.

With the film material I am approaching the recollection of an atmosphere that is formed around the experience of absence, a state of mind that also can function as a platform, a point of beginning. When planning the imagery I was memorizing this certain mood, familiar to me from my early childhood, when days were long, the light was bright and contrasts sharp, and the direction of my life was yet ambiguous. Passing scenes from the city, fields and wastelands have been recorded on the film. Summer parties with faces of people not quite recognizable, shadows, rocks, cracks on city walls. Some of the imagery has a nostalgic tone, emphasized by the usage and the quality of 8mm film. However, the imagery in its vagueness also indicates that the memories are out of reach or indistinct – just as the textual material in the audio text does.


5 kuvaa havainne pienempiStoneforest, panorama view


The work has been divided onto five channels running with slightly different loop lengths. This generates a panorama view with a constantly changing landscape stretched on five monitors.

Another aspect of the film material in Stoneforest is that I perform in it as two similar looking characters, the fictional identical twins depicted also in the photograph A&B. This is a reference to A letter to my father where I describe: I play with my imaginative friend, my look-alike. She is just like me. We never speak, we don’t need to. She knows what I think. In fact many of the images and the actions of these fictional characters refer to the text and thus link the works together.


Stoneforest and A letter to my father – Excerpt


Cinematography: Marja Viitahuhta and Taneli Viitahuhta
Written, directed, edited, produced and acted by Marja Viitahuhta


99 Years of My Life

Short film, duration: 33 min, 2003




One fictional biography depicted from birth to death, based on the lives and memories of four women of different age. Each year in the film is reduced to three sentences, a list that runs from 0 to 99. This narration is illustrated via a collection of cinematographic styles and media: archive footage, home video, still photography, animation, film noir-styled scenes, and performance documentation.

The film has been awarded with the shared silver prize in Cannes Film Festival 2004 in Category “Cinéfondation”, “The Best Experimental Film” in Mediawave Film Festival 2004, “The Audience Award” in L’Alternativa Film Festival 2004 and the “Teamword Prize” in Stuttgarter Filmwinter 2004. It is also part of the collections of MoMA and Kiasma Contemporary Museum of Art.


Credit list:

Directing & script: Marja Viitahuhta (former Marja Mikkonen)
Cinematography: Sini Liimatainen
Editing: Azar Saiyar
Sound Design: Jussi Vuola
Animation: Veera Luhtala, Sakari Luhtala
Lights: Sakari Luhtala, Vitalius KiselijusMusic: Antti Tolvi, Marja Viitahuhta, Jussi Vuola
Actors: numerous (incl. Marja Viitahuhta, Martti Aartola, Annika Dahlsten, Maija Hirvanen, Pia Kalenius, Essi Kausalainen, Joonas Kiviharju, Aapo Korkeaoja, Sini Liimatainen, Sakari Luhtala, Hanna Oksanen, Ronja Oksanen, Santos Parrilla, Sofia Parrilla, Suvi Parrilla, Anja Saiyar, Azar Saiyar, Irma Truhponen, Teuvo Truhponen, Tuomo Truhponen, Lahja Tuominen, Vilho Tuominen, Taneli Viitahuhta, Lars Wingård, Topi Äikäs)
Production: Marja Viitahuhta and Sini Liimatainen / Turku Polytechnic Arts Academy
Distribution support: Finnish Film Foundation SES