I'm the Monster is a new solo piece from a Finnish multidisciplinary artist Katja-Maria / Kay Taavitsainen. The performance transforms fluidly from a bodily installation towards a somatic symphony.
Through sound, video art and movement, we are invited to share collectively a new wayto experience a live music performance. The piece is structured around a debut album made by Taavitsainen (meu & Meu Kävi Täällä). It is full of electronic sounds, bass & dreamy guitar sound in a dialogue with the moving body in the space and the spectacle of Merle Karp's video art. The sound design of the space is by Icelandic artist Fjóla Gautadóttir, and Gautadóttir and Aapeli Hakala play the live instruments used in the performance.
The performance centres on a non-binary body and aims to unlock the pleasure and desire that the body inhabits. In this piece, the body is the subject, the storyteller, not an object. In the createdspace, we travel towards the actual existence of a non-binary person through heartbreaks, realisations, dreads and dreams — through the cyclic death and rebirth. We use the songs, thelyrics, the deep bass and a lonely guitar as a blueprint to navigate this journey together.
I'm the Monster is the second part of a trilogy by Taavitsainen & the working group. In this autobiographical line of performances, Taavitsainen, with their group, unfolds the expectations, narratives, fetishes, desires, and struggles aimed towards non-binary people and how they are experienced from the viewpoint of a non-binary person. They unravel the journey of a nonbinary person born in the heterocentric society with a certain "broken & alienated feeling, travelling towards something authentic, freeing and more holistic experience of their gender-expansive human existence. The trilogy opens up a pathway and portal from gender dysphoria towards gender euphoria.
Choreography, dramaturgy, composition and performance: Katja-Maria/Kay Taavitsainen aka meu
Video art and set design: Merle Karp
Sound design of the space and drums: Fjóla Gautadóttir
Sound technique and guitar: Aapeli Hakala
Lighting design: Veli-Matti Timoskainen
Costume design: Kimmo Alakunnas, Kati Sinisalo
Music videos: Jukka Moisio
Performers on vide: meu, Aapeli Hakala, Marlon Moilanen
Visuals on videos: Merle Karp
Album lyrics and composition: meu
Album mixing and mastering: Kalifornia-Keke
Recording of vocals and mixing: Sarah Kivi
Artist photos and cover art for the album: Tuuti Piippo
Production: Dance Theatre Minimi, Zodiak – Center for New Dance, Katja-Maria / Kay Taavitsainen and working group
Supported by: Jenny & Antti Wihuri Foundation, CMOA -residency / The Contemporary Museum of Pittsburgh, Anna Thompson & Taylor Knight, Play Practice Residency / Abhilash Ningappa, The Finnish Cultural Foundation, The Arts Promotion Center of Finland, & ADA-studios/Berlin
Pictures: Telmo Q Branco
Video trailer: Kim Saarinen
Premiere: 4.5.2022 Kuopio City Theatre, Maria-stage / Dance Theatre Minimi