Mari Keski-Korsu (FIN): Beat to the Balance

Mari Keski-Korsu: Beat to the Balance. Art Ii Biennaali 2018. Photo: Jaani Föhr.

Mari Keski-Korsu is an interdisciplinary artist, who explores how ecological and socio-economical changes manifest themselves in everyday life. Her work is based on collaborating with different kinds of communities. It focuses on the possibility of inter-species communication to enable empathy and compassion in human actions towards ecosystems. She is interested in the relations between art, activism, politics and science from a permacultural and ecofeminist perspective.

Beat to the Balance is an interdisciplinary art project that involves taking part in a sauna and tree healing. The process of treating oneself with leaves in the sauna is a conscious one and involves both fierce and gentle touch. It allows people to experience the holistic power of different tree species, helps them connect to the communication systems of the forests and deal with the trauma we carry due to our exploitation of the Earth. According to civil rights activist Audre Lorde, self-care is not self-indulgence but self-preservation, and as such, an act of political warfare. The experience within the sauna cultivates an empathetic connection between people and trees. It attempts to create a space for a new, more balanced narrative of humankind’s existence on the planet.

Beat to the Balance addresses the rituals associated with water that re-connect us with nature. It emphasizes the relationship between the human and the ecosystem and forms new methods of communication between these dimensions. The contemporary context allows us to learn from the past as we explore the healing potential of water and Finnish traditions, re-enacting a collaboration with non-human in the environment. The artistic ritual created by Mari Keski-Korsu helps us to remember our roots and examine the inner self.