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THE TWIN STRANGER

Artist duo exploring myth
 

Two artists meet in London's underground arts community. One is a theatre designer trained in St Petersburg. The other is a poet and creative from audio and print. Together they take extravagant, improvised journeys on the trail of history, poetry and lore from their own Baltic heritage and beyond. They stand on their heads and turn the gender tales of antique lore upside down with absurdism. Opposition, duality and binary traditions are all shook up.

A reinvent-your-own-past project forged in the forest of Finland at the DIY artist community at Hirvitalo, the Deer House.

Am I Väinö? Am I Aino?

(July 2019)

In a visit to the town where Riitta's grandparents met in a stocking factory, we wove new stories from the Kalevala, the 19th century epic poem compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish folklore.

Reading the different archetypes as aspects of the self, we danced for the camera in a series drawing on the aesthetic of Victorian tableau, performing as a static, self-arranged picture for the audience as our fourth wall.

Without a map or a score, we allowed ourself to explore the character of the shaman Väinämöinen and poetic events through material, presence and pose. The emphasis was on using the text as a starting point for our play, enabling us to begin creating an alternative narrative beginning today.

Väinö is short for Väinämöinen. Aino is the young woman who drowns herself rather than marry the old man and who is turned into a fish.

MEFITI

(August 2019)

Tribute to the volcano goddess.

On the dry bed of a tributary of the River Melfa in Frosinone, Lazio, the two artists both become the forgotten goddess of the fire and sulphur. Tiny offerings of body parts,       ex voto, are considered as they pass judgement and offer remedies to a sick world.

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We are two

We are history

We are myth

We genderbend the epics

We remember lost gods, hidden from the unifying imperial narrative

We connect with the missing within the self

We give birth to children that are bloody and wrong

We are wrong

We will not make it right, not for you not for anyone

Did you think the gods were here just for you?

Forget everything you have known, it will be changed

written from the heart of the underground volcano,

Mefiti & Mefiti

We are Riitta Hakkarainen

& Jude Cowan Montague

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