Meiju Niskala (b. 1978) lives and works in Helsinki and Taivalkoski. She is a multidisciplinary artist. Her projects vary from the large-scale to working with small groups. They are forward-thinking, creating artistic activities in the public realm, engaging cities and communities, in which playfulness is at its core. Niskala’s motivation is to create encounters and interactions between people to meet and discuss about humanity, the world and the good life.
For Helsinki Biennial, Meiju Niskala has created a participatory work, It Occurred to Me, But a Bit Too Late (2020), in which visitors roam the island’s rocky shores and meadows following instructions they hear via a headset. This public art happening is informed by Niskala’s background as a performance artist and writer. The work can also be described as a poetic and participatory audio work.
It revolves around various types of encounters, with people encountering themselves, other people, nonhuman species and the environment. “Listening is a way of forging a link with the environment. Choosing to listen to everything you are capable of hearing is ultimately a political act.”
Photos: Matti Pyykkö