An Error in Helsinki

An Error in Helsinki

Libretto for an opera buffa in three acts.

Produced on the occasion of the staging of the opera, ‘An Error in Helsinki’, for the Finnish National Opera and Ballet in 2016, based on long walks through Helsinki’s peripheries and centre.

Act 1: Etcetera

Read the libretto: Etcetera.pdf

Act 2: Band of Weeds

Act 3: Larry Achiampong

Etcetera, formed in 1997 in Buenos Aires, is a multidisciplinary collective composed of visual artists, poets, actors and performers. In 2005 they were part of the foundation of the movement International Errorist, an international organisation that claims error as a philosophy of life. Today Etcetera continues to develop its activities collaboratively with other collectives and individuals, inside and outside art institutions, and in the field of education. Cofounders of the collective, Loreto Garín Guzmán from Chile and Federico Zukerfeld from Argentina, coordinate the exhibitions, archives, and other initiatives today.

Kalle Hamm and Dzamil Kamanger have collaborated since 1999. Kalle Hamm was born in 1969 in Rauma, Finland. He graduated in Lahti Fine Art Institute 1994, and completed a masters at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Helsinki 2002. His works of art examine cultural encounters and their impact in historical and contemporary contexts. Dzamil Kamanger was born in 1948 in Mariwan, Iran. He is an Iranian Kurd and lives in Helsinki since 1994. He studied ceramics in the Kermanshah University, and completed a masters in 1973. His art draws from traditional Iranian handicraft and autobiographical experiences of war and as a refugee.

Larry Achiampong was born in 1984 in the UK, and completed a masters in sculpture at Slade School of Fine Art 2008. He uses sound, live performance, and sculpture to explore representations of identity in the digital age and the dichotomies found within a world dominated by facebook/tumblr/youtube-based cultures. He crate-digs the vaults of history, splicing audible and visual qualities of the personal and interpersonal archive-as-material—offering multiple dispositions that reveal socio-political contradictions in contemporary society. Achiampong has exhibited and performed within the UK and abroad including EVA International, Ireland’s biennale; Tate Britain and Tate Modern; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Modern Art Oxford; New Art Exchange, Nottingham; SAVVY Contemporary Berlin; the British Library sound archives; and Bokoor African Popular Music Archives Foundation, Accra. 

Clark House Initiative began in Bombay in 2010 in a spiralling trammelled city, as a curatorial collaborative and union of artists interested in ideas of freedom. We would walk across the museum to an old building, where we used to talk; imagining images, or photographs onto which we would draw in the changes we felt were pressing. These images we started to call ‘imagea’, small curatorial essays in picture format, tiny ‘What Ifs’, imaginaries that we wanted to make real, at least in images if not in actual, hoping that the one would lead to the other. That beautiful, decrepit building was called Clark House, from which we took our name, and from where our projects are based.


Curated and edited by Zasha Colah (Clark House Initiative)

in collaboration with:

Eva Neklyaeva (Checkpoint Helsinki)
Sumesh Sharma (Clark House Initiative)
Christopher Wessels (Third Space)

Designed by: Julia, julia.uk.com. Printed by: Musumeci S.P.A.

With special thanks to: Ahmed Al-Nawas (Third Space) & Sezgin Boynik (Rab-Rab Journal), Valerio Di Lucente (Julia), Terike Haapoja, Minna Henriksson, Jussi Koitela, Aino Korvensyrjä, Jim Prevett, Nora Sternfeld (CuMMA Discourse Series, Aalto Arabia)

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Commissioned and published by:
Checkpoint Helsinki, 2016