Roi Vaara - Present but Absent

2017.05.21 – 2017.05.23 Sunset to Sunrise

Added Event

PERFORMANCE WITH AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – ‘Let’s See’ 2017.05.21 18:00 – 18:15

Let’s see the light and darkness without any of the references to good and bad, knowledge and ignorance, truth and lie. Let’s see the light as a fact, as an immaterial physical phenomenon. Let’s see the light as a direct, first hand experience. Let’s see what it means to our senses, to our consciousness, and to our psyche. Let’s see all these processes through a very simple but possibly interesting experiment experienced and shared together in a small group of people gathered in a small gallery space.


Roi Vaara is a pioneer of performance art in Finland. He was born in Moss (NO), 1953 to Finnish parents. He studied in the University of Art and Design (now Aalto University), in Helsinki and in Jyväskylä University in the 70s. His live art is time based, site and situation specific and has been working since 1978.  Since 1988, Vaara has performed in Black Market International, which is without doubt, the most significant performance collective working in the field. Vaara has presented more than 500 performances. His art works have been presented in more than 400 international exhibitions/festivals in 50 countries around the world. In 2001 Vaara organized EXIT Festival, dubbed as “Woodstock Festival of Performance Art” which presented performances of 300 artists from 34 countries. Vaara has received the State Prize for Art from the Art Council of Finland in 2000, Ars Fennica Prize in 2005. In 2010 Vaara was awarded Pro Finlandia Medal, and was nominated to 5×5 CASTELLO International Contemporary Art Prize Diputació de Castelló, Spain. Vaara lives and works in Helsinki and Budapest.


“Present but Absent (Puzzle of Plato’s Cave)”

Aligned with Plato’s allegory of the cave our dramas of life cast the shadows on the walls of our cave. We are identified with those images and we process them in our dreams in the nights. This is prisoners’ reality. If, however, we were to miraculously escape our bondage, we would find a world that we could not understand, a place incomprehensible because it is the realm of pure form, pure fact. The power of the allegory might be that it requires us to consider who or what, at any given period of history, directs our shadow-play.