Minni Hirvonen (1971) is a dance artist, who lives and works in Joensuu, Finland. She has graduated from Turku University of Applied Sciences as a dance teacher. She also has worked since 1999 as a regional artist, dance teacher, art pedagogy in dance and other schools. She has also works as a producer, choreographer, and performer in numerous productions all over Finland. Different kind of art projects in cooperation with communities as well as in the private sector has been her working environment since the 90s. Her hobbies include nature in all its forms as well as improvisation with different theatre and dance groups. Minnis current and probably life long character is called Miss Catastroph, a part of her nature preserving hobby and work. She also campaigns on behalf of culture and applied art that is accessible for everyone without obstruction. Her current art collective bears the name "Able Art Group" and it is a unique group on performing arts in Finland.

Her family includes of a son, daughter and a dog.

What is Miss Catastroph?

Miss Catastroph is a character created by dance artist Minni Hirvonen.  This character is the interpreter of global catastrophes. Miss Catastroph operates on the borders of clowning, miming, dancing, theater, visual arts and science. Producing this character is part of Hirvonens working- process, which is meant to last for rest of her life. The ideology behind this character is based on the calamities of oceans, global warming and natural catastrophes. Miss Catastroph will perform as an anti-heroine of dramatic art and exhibitions, tragicomic character who carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. She is using white plastic, tape, videos, photos and performance. Minni Hirvonen was inspired by Professor of Aesthetics Yrjö Sepänmaa to create this character. Sepänmaa is also Miss Catastrophs science consultant. Leena Hirvonen, Bachelor of Social Sciences and Regional Politics has also been helpful.

What else is Miss Catastroph? Miss Catastroph is a freak of nature and all the past, present and future natural disasters combined. Also her personal history consists of catastrophic amount of relationships; horrible family tragedies, unfathomable fellow artists and dozen late ex-husbands. She herself is immortal. It has been suspected that her date of birth could be in 1650´s. Miss Catastroph is happy to pop up in public places; libraries, market halls, shopping malls, theaters, art galleries, art museums, parking halls etcetera. She delivers the opening speech with prestige and acts as master of ceremonies as well. Her splendid way of telling stories on any given stories is refreshing and also sometimes a bit dubious. Miss Catastroph is of French origin, yet she is already a fluent Finnish speaker. She is very fond of silicon, Botox, and a wide range of plastic products. Miss Catastroph also has 30 minute long performance in English about scientific facts on climate change among other things. She can be hired for all kind of occasions and projects that promote conservation of nature. Miss Catastroph has in the offing a culinary fun show that makes fun of Finnish food culture and its preservatives and additives.


Visual artist Johanna Turunen:

Dance artist Minni Hirvonen contacted me in the autumn of 2013 and requested photo-assistance for her Miss Catastroph - character. After first studio photo sessions it was already natural talk about bigger photo project. During the summer, autumn and winter of 2014 we made several photographing trips to various settings; to a gravel pit, to a building site, to rocky ground, to city center and to lake scenery. In addition we photographed Miss Catastroph in Joensuu during the spring 2014 and in Matera, Italy during May 2015. I am very familiar with forests and lake scenery. Several of our photo sites are located near my summer cottage in Liperi. Lake Viinijärvi is clear and beautiful lake. Choosing my photo sites I want to honor the purity of nature. Miss Catastroph also fits to Finnish city. We live surrounded by purity and cleanness when compared to India and many other countries. In our vision the project travels around the world promoting the conservation of nature. We don´t go around pointing our finger at you with wrinkled eyebrows. We use humor.  Johanna is responsible for the visual outlook in exhibition rooms; plastic bags, plastic bottles and stretch film are used as material for the exhibition. We want to produce 10 photo prints in 100cm X 100cm silisec- acrylic paintings. There are videos of Miss Catastroph and nature, thus video projector and mobility are also part of the exhibition. Singing and sounds are also part of the whole.


History:

The very first appearance of Miss Catastroph was as master of ceremonies in Professor Yrjö Sepänmaa retirement party 31.1.2014.  After this occasion the character was seen in Vimma- Contemporary Dance Festival 9.-12.4.2014; in a performance called Miss Catastroph & the Methane Burp. This performance lasted over an hour, yet it remained dramaturgically intact. After these occasions there have been for example the opening ceremonies of the Ylisoutaja - Bridge in Joensuu 16.6.2014. In this occasion Miss Catastroph  was at Johanna Turunens artwork "Red Streaming" presenting an example of art based on the percent-for-art-principle. In addition, Miss Catastroph has been performing in Gallery Becker in Jyväskylä, at Norpas- Festivals in Taalintehdas, at Night by the River- happening in Joensuu, at volunteer rescue service - happening in Vantaankoski and also as Drama guide at Joensuu Art Museum and so on.

 

Future:

Minni Hirvonen will perform as Miss Catastroph with visual artist Johanna Turunen as her working partner. Miss Catastroph is visually stunning, a work of art moving between various art forms; using art exhibitions and presentations as her context. We have our first Miss Catastroph exhibition in December 2015 at Art Center Ahjo in Joensuu. Art Center Ahjo was chosen, for the reason that we are from Joensuu. It will be easiest and also cheapest to carry out our ideas and performances in our home town. During the three week long exhibition period, there will be every day a performance act lasting from 15 to 30 minutes. For the rest of the time opening hour, our work of art consisting of photographs, lights sounds and installation - but without Miss Catastroph exluded - will be available for the spectators. In the future in other exhibition locations we will have performances at the first and last days of exhibitions. Miss Catastroph - exhibition will be on tour in 2016. Miss Catastroph is a global character, who has set her sights on touring the Baltic Sea region and South-East Asia.

 

The synergy between photography and dancing: Visual artist and dance artist working together brings about productionally effective as well as creative synergy between these art forms. We both have many cooperation partners and global networks. Publicity and marketing has already been channeled between these two art genres. This creates opportunities for as well for visual arts as for performing arts.

Boundaries: During the working stage and in final production art and science join together. The discussion between Aesthetics and Social- and Regional Sciences are integral part of making our art. 

Local significance:The Miss Catastroph - picture and performance exhibition will become a significant and especially innovative instrument of art export for art in North Karelia. With our partnership we want to gain national and international coverage. International significance We are seeking for gallery rooms and partners from abroad. Our theme is suitable for example for Baltic Sea conservation, so a natural location for our installation would be in coastal cities along the Baltic sea; Helsinki, Tallinn, Gdansk, Riga and Stockholm among others. The significance of a working partner We have found each other in a good, creative and energetic spirit. Our working is fountaining and takes us both forward - alone and together. During the spring and summer of 2015 we have strengthened our belief and will by experimenting co-working in public places, photo shoots and in our studios. Before this shared exhibition we produced a work of art on stage. Johanna was the scenographer and Minni was the choreographer in a contemporary dance production Gridlock & Food (premiere 24.4.2015). The theme was natural conservation. This production was made for Able Art Group which is an integrated dance group of dancers and circus artists in Joensuu, with 7 disabled and 5 non-disabled artists in the performing cast. Come and join our art campaign! We are working partners, dance & performance artist Minni Hirvonen and visual artist Johanna Turunen.We are looking for companies to join our campaign for conservation of nature.We are working on the Art Exhibition and installation called MISS CATASTROPH, which will take place at Art Centre Ahjo in Joensuu. 27.11-21.12.2015 The Koksi gallery room at the Art Centre Ahjo will be visualized by using white plastic, plastic bottles, fishing nets, photographs, lights, sounds and with MISS CATASTROPH - a character of performance art. This will all add up to be a breathtakingly beautiful experience.

Our work of art in a nutshell: During the tree week long exhibition period, there will be every day a performance act lasting from 15 to 30 minutes. For the rest of the opening hours, our work of art consisting of photographs, lights, sounds and a plastic montage - but with MISS CATASTROPH excluded - will be available for the spectators. It will be a travelling exhibition. MISS CATASTROPH is a global character, who has set her sights on touring the coastal cities of the Baltic Sea, and later on touring Southern Europe and South-East Asia.

With funding arranged, the MISS CATASTROPH Art Exhibition Tour will start from Helsinki and then move to Tallinn, Gdansk, Riga and finally to Stockholm. The tour will hit the road in 2016. We are working on the MISS CATASTROPH -installation with the help of grants and funds. We need money for the material cost of photographs. The photographs - 100 cm x 100 cm in size - will be made using either silisec- or diasec- technique. Both of these techniques have high material costs, but provide excellent quality. The material costs for ten photographs using either one of these techniques will be 4900 €.

Do you run a brave and open-minded company? We offer you a front row place for advertising through our marketing and through our exhibitions. We are also offering you a chance to have your say in the artistic processing of the global warming theme. We are using our own art networks in our marketing in Finland. Among these networks are the regional art centers and regional dance centers. We also trust the power of social media. Through our exhibition, you can reach the small and medium size markets in creative field.