ANNA-MARI NOUSIAINEN

Wednesday 4/19/17 time 4:27 PM


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Background as an artist
I had been applying to art schools after high school when I found myself in Heinola
studying audiovisual media back in 2010. I didn’t have any background with moving
images at the time, it was completely uncharted territory for me. I fell in love with
video and after graduating from Salpaus, I applied to Tampere University of
Applied Sciences (former TTVO) to study Film and television.
The best things that the school brought to my life were people I met and culture scene of Tampere.
I started working with Sami Sänpäkkilä in couple of his music videos when I suddenly
realized it’s possible to do something by actually doing it, you don’t have to know
everything in advance. The DIY-spirit only got stronger when I started to work on the
film Samurai Rauni Reposaarelainen with art group Moderni Kanuuna.
I realized that I didn’t have to have lots of (or sometimes any…) money, certain
diplomas or even experience. Everybody starts somewhere – I just needed a hint of
devil may care-attitude, enthusiasm, time and courage to write down and act on
ideas.

How did you end up choosing your media?
Like many things in my life, a happy accident I guess!
Even though I studied film, I hadn’t ever really thought about video art. My
background was more in photography at that point.
In Tampere I majored in cinematography. I wasn’t that interested in traditional
television or movies, more like art house and experimental films. Film industry is often
compared to an army and that isn’t really my thing. I don’t usually work with traditional
scripts or have a strict hierarchy in set for example. I found it hard to do my own (quite
experimental) work through film studies so I started participating in the arts
department studies too.
First I found music videos, which are like video art to me, I just don’t have to worry
about sound! I still do them every chance I get, they’re fun and rewarding and I’ve had
the chance to do them with some great and inspirational artists.
Then I stumbled across a video art course at school. On that course I made my first
video artwork and found my media - it was at the same time very familiar, but
something totally new!

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?
Uncertainty and ”real life” are the worst sides I guess. By real life I mean things like
money, rent, time control and stuff like that. I juggle between paying freelance jobs,
unemployment and making art. Sometimes I’m also worried that I have to give up
some of my dreams because of art. I’d like to have my own house in the woods for
example, but can’t really plan things like that because my financial situation is always
uncertain (and most of the money I get goes towards making art, it’s a mystery). On
the other hand uncertainty can sometimes be great too! Things can and will change.
I can’t say that I’m like a fish in the water when I make art. It’s not always like having
an intense flow experience, I don’t enjoy every moment. But even at bad days I still
don’t worry about anything else.
In regular life I overthink and analyze things, I worry a lot and sometimes I’m way too
conscious about myself. Some days I find it very hard to exist in this world or in my
life. But especially when I’m filming and/or directing, I don’t think about anything else
but that moment. Even (or maybe especially) when everything feels hard and things
are going wrong on the ”set”, I am present, make decisions and the stuff I’m doing at
that moment is the most important and interesting there is. That’s the time when I’m
out of my head. I need that.

Is this your first time in Joutsa? What kind of expectations did you have about
it?
Yes it is! I’ve lived most of my life in the countryside, so this wasn’t a ”culture shock”.
I’ve been living in Helsinki for a year now and I still feel like an outsider there, so I
looked forward to the silence, peace and nature.
My tips for other residency comers:
- Get a library card!
- Go to see a movie in Joutsan Kino!
- Hypoteekki is a nice cafe/lunch place. Very good pizzas in Jouto-Tupa!

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?
Normal life doesn’t get in the way of doing art! It’s harder to procrastinate (you can’t
organize your drawers or wash windows etc). You know you have only X amount of
time here and you want to make it count.
I don’t live by myself and right now I don’t have a study either so peace for working is
sometimes hard to find (or at least I tell myself that). Here you have it and you can’t
pretend otherwise!
You can also live and do your work in your own schedule, which is super nice. You
could also come here and just chill, without a plan, I heard. That sounds cool too!

What are your plans after Haihatus?
I’m shooting a music video for Konna-Sami in May and possibly doing some ”real
work” in a couple of Finnish feature films this summer.
I’m also working on a joint art project with Sami Sänpäkkilä and possibly another one
with Sanna Komi and Hanna Kaihlanen. We’re also curating a video art/short film
screening with Hanna for Joutomaa Fest in May! So I’m pretty much settled ’til
October!
If you’re interested in my upcoming projects, exhibitions etc. you can follow this link:
http://annamarinousiainen.com/upcoming/

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?
Perfectly! I had this kinda strict schedule about working since I wanted to edit two
projects here before I start new ones (also there are some deadlines creeping up on
me…). I’ve stayed in my schedule and I’ve still had time to drink coffee, pet the
residency cats, read books and bike around Joutsa!

 


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