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Shawbrook Residency - Heli Keskikallio (Finland)


Flesh Thing is a hybrid of a performance piece and painting happening that mixes bodily techniques with live painting. It researches associative chains created by non-linguistic meanings proposing an associative mode of representation.

The work is at its embryonic stage, and in the Shawbrook residency we will focus on developing the corporeality and the bodily practice of the work. We will immerse ourselves into questions of carnal being-in-the-world: How does our flesh resonate with each other and with the world? How to practice carnal thinking? The concept of flesh opens up through the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, where the flesh is a means for connection between the sentient and the sensible and an element that resists the dichotomy between materia and thought or between subject and object. We will work towards a fleshy happening that escapes conscious conceptualization – a step into a world of shapes, bodies, rhythms, colours and sensations. The work suggests meanings that are in a constant movement, never arriving into a certain place. We play with affects and energetic fields that the moving mass of the flesh and the colours create. Sliding away from any fixed meanings, the work always returns to the body and its flesh.

Heli Keskikallio is a Finnish choreographer, performer and a teacher. She has gratuated from the University of the Arts Theater Academy Helsinki with a Masters degree in Choreography year 2016. Before she has graduated as a dance teacher from Savonia University in 2010. In her artistic work Keskikallio is interested in the fragility of bodies (human and non-human) and bringing forth the imperfection, sensibility and carnality of the things. Her main driving force in working lies in existential questions tackled through bodily beings and materialities. She is interested in culturally referential bodies, working with questions as such: how does the surrounding culture choreograph our bodies and beings?