s.l.o.a.p. – space left over after planning


s.l.o.a.p. Honk Kong


The co-operation of the performers created a work that did justice to the street styles but at the same time it was a well balanced performance with clear artistic aims. And it was magnificent.
–Annikki Alku, Demokraatti, 08/2013 Finland

s.l.o.a.p (space left over after planning) premiered in Helsinki, Finland as part of Urb Festival 2013, and was invited by West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong, to be presented in their Freespace Fest, November 2014.

s.l.o.a.p – is a process based performance model, that intercepts public spaces, or ‘non-spaces’, to reconfigure them as inspiring and creative places, in collaboration with local street-style artists.

s.l.o.a.p is an architectural term referring to: useless pieces of ground, under a freeway, or a disused empty block. Utilizing the gestures and the language of street-styles to thread and weave meaning and form, s.l.o.a.p critiques the co-opting of public space as an exclusively commercially owned and operated zone.

Branch Nebula developed this approach to touring for URB Festival, Helsinki in 2013, in order to extend their investigation into urban cultural forms like street-styles, and an ongoing interest in performance that is arresting and provocative within the public sphere.

Branch Nebula has chosen to collaborate with street style artists who habitually engage with public space, with a process that uncovers a site to discover its challenges, and to reclaim it as a site for artistic expression and ownership.

Skaters, BMXers, trickers, Parkourists and street dancers scour the walls, stairs, rails and concrete, their bodies acting as conduits for the vibrations of the city.

Fourty audience members sign up to volunteer to be present in the show, without rehearsal. Audience volunteers are given a series of diagrams to reconfigure themselves into a number of shapes, in their role as ‘soft architecture’. The performance is choreographed around various audience blocks to increase proximity and to investigate the audience as a mass body in relation to the architecture of the space.

Branch Nebula’s process based model appeals to many international presenters as a way of including local artists, particularly young street artists who are not traditionally included in arts festivals. They bring a new audience to the festival and also introduce arts audiences to diverse cultural forms.

Sloap_kenraali8_Liina© Liina Kenraali

SLOAP Helsinki has been supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, through the IETM program; and the Kiasma gallery Helsinki.

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