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Fantasy Feasts


Fantasy Feasts – the Kalevala for 15–16-year-olds

Role-changing in a Väinämöinen-Aino game, videoing a basketball match between Väinämöinens and a bear, summoning up spring by casting spells, and acting out a performance-style drama about a modern bear feast. There are lots of ways of approaching the Kalevala apart from just reading it.

As part of its Kalevala art exhibition running from February 27 to August 9, 2009, the Ateneum Art Museum arranged a museum pedagogics project called Peijaiset (Fantasy Feasts). The project was led by artists Lea and Pekka Kantonen, while collaboration with schools was planned and carried out by students from the time and space arts department of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. Two classes of ninth-graders from Helsinki comprehensive schools were also involved. Before real work started in January, the Kantonens ran a course about the Kalevala at the two schools and the Ateneum, where Kalevala experts Heikki Laitinen, Kirsti Mäkinen and Papu Pirtola talked and sang with the pupils.

The aim of the project was to bring the Kalevala, Kalevala art and folk poetry within the pupils' reach in a lively and meaningful way, and to draw them in as active contributors. The pupils contributed to choosing the various modes of operation and the eventual outcome (e.g. a concert, a drama, the production of an art work, a performance and an audiovisual work) was not decided in advance. The jointly produced results included a multimedia bear feast, modern Kalevala metre poetry to order, audiovisuals and other art works.

The project also studied how artistic processes could be taken into the school world. Thus it acted as a learning process equally for the Museum, the schools and the art students and artists in charge. The processes, the progress of the project and the experiences gained are all being recorded and are to be published on the Ateneum website in spring 2009. There will also be an exhibition of various Fantasy Feasts products and records in the Kalevala exhibition project area at the Ateneum in March-April and June.

Fantasy Feasts

Producer: Ateneum Art Museum.
Project leaders: artists Lea Kantonen and Pekka Kantonen.
Art students involved: Kalle Ahonen, Jani Karimäki, Sami Maalas, Annette Nordqvist, Suvi Nurmi, Heidi Saramäki and Lauri Wuolio.
Collaborating schools: Aleksis Kivi School class 9B with teacher Reeta Aarnio and Pukinmäki Upper Level class 9 with teacher Reetta Haapamäki.

Educational curator Satu Itkonen, tel. 09-173 36243, satu.itkonen@ateneum.fi