Series of Five Performances
Supported by Taike (Arts Promotion Center Finland)

Photographer: Aman Askarizad
Read Matti Tanskanen’s report on this project here.

On the 23rd of August 2021, an announcement was published on the Helsingin Sanomat website in which artist Parsa Kamehkhosh, called for five volunteers to take part in a series of his durational performances titled “Saturdays.” All Finns who were able to communicate in English and were strangers to the artist were eligible to participate in this project. The idea was that Parsa Kamehkhosh would spend 16 hours on a Saturday, from 8:00 in the morning to midnight (00:00), with each of the first five strangers who register. Each of the five days was documented in two photos, one of when the artist met the participant in the morning and one before they split. Throughout the day, some objects were also collected by the artist as tokens of the highlights of that day.  In June 2022,  all the documents of this project  were presented at Myymälä 2 Gallery in Helsinki.

Saturdays is a series of five durational performances responding to the challenges of integrating into Finnish society. Although Finland seems to pursue multiculturalism, in my experience, the social interactions of non-Finnish people here are majorly limited to our own communities, and we can hardly connect with the more resistant layers of society. The cultural structure is such that although we seem to be accepted in society, there is always a glass wall between us and them. In Saturdays Project, I tried to work around this issue by communicating with the audience of Finns living in Helsinki by publishing an announcement in a newspaper and creating a situation in which this glass wall can be partially removed. On a more personal level, this series was also intended to push the boundaries of my comfort zone when it comes to social interaction and communication.