Teo Ala-Ruona (2–19 Oct)

Photo by: Miikka Pirinen

Teo Ala-Ruona is a Helsinki-based performance artist whose work focuses on somatospeculative fictioning. Ala-Ruona explores themes such as techno-trans-masculinity, sexuality, ecology, and toxicity through a combination of theoretical discourse, autobiographical text material, and psychologically and physically intense performance scores, aiming to redefine language and narratives that address pleasure and intimacy on a toxic Earth.

Through the use of his own body as a canvas for speculative storytelling, he experiments with how fiction can transform both himself and the audience’s perspective on his body. His work challenges conventional boundaries and embraces the peculiar and perplexing. Ala-Ruona is committed to the transgressive and fictitious potential of performance art to expand our understanding of humanity, pushing the boundaries of our perception of normality and conventionality.

Ala-Ruona’s work has recently been shown in The Vilnius Biennial of Performance Art (Vilnius), The Finnish National Gallery Kiasma (Helsinki), The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (London), VEGA (Copenhagen) and Baltic Circle -festival (Helsinki) among others.

At Bergen Kunsthall’s Live Studio, he will be developing his new performance commission HydroDisruption (working title) for 2025. HydroDisruption looks at transmateriality and its complex relationship with the concept of “natural” from a hydrofeminist perspective, contesting fantasies of purity and sterility. In the project, Ala-Ruona studies the techno-assisted and hormonal changes in his own body, its thoroughly technological nature and its somatic relationship to the petrochemical pollution of the waters in lake Kallavesi in Eastern Finland, where he is originally from. The work premieres in 2025 as part of an extensive series of works called Waterways commissioned by curator Riikka Thitz.

At the Bergen Kunstall’s Live Studio Ala-Ruona will be joined by his collaborator Tuukka Haapakorpi. They will work on conceptualizing the work further and drafting the first performative elements of the piece.

Ala-Ruona’s and Haapakorpi’s working period in Bergen is supported by the Arts Promotion Center, the Finnish Cultural Foundation and Kone Foundation.