Gesa Piper

Gesa Piper is a German dance-artist and -pedagogue who has worked in many different European countries and the US (New York) in the fields of dance-, interdisciplinary – and performance art. She is based in Helsinki since 2011 where she graduated from the Theater Academy with a Master degree in 2014. She had finished her Bachelor studies in 2008 at the Dance Academy ArtEZ in the Netherlands. Her interests lie within the field of the multiplicity of the human existence in its social and environmental context and her artistic work seeks to investigate those through means of physical expression and embodied inquiry.

The BodyBuilding Project

The BodyBuilding ProjectThe BodyBuilding ProjectThe BodyBuilding ProjectThe BodyBuilding ProjectThe BodyBuilding Project

2014 – 2016

The BodyBuilding Project is a shared inquiry into the sensibilities, subjectivities and relational capacities we, as interdependent beings, might beneficially develop in response to the planetary urgencies we currently face. It encourages us to reimagine the propensities currently identified as “human,” and to begin building bodies capable of prefiguring life beyond our collapsing horizons.

The project consists of a perennial artistic research process and a series of public events created collaboratively by a growing body of artists, theorists and practitioners. Our aim is to develop a series of embodied practices that can be sustained both individually and collectively and transmitted in a variety of ways.

Project coordination: Saara Hannula
Working group: Ana Teo Ala-Ruona, Outi Condit, Daria Faïn, Saara Hannula, Ilpo Heikkinen, Robert Kocik, Satu Palokangas, Alan Prohm, Tommi Vasko, Carmen C. Wong (2014–2016); Daria Faïn, Christina Guerrero-Harmon, Scott Elliott, Saara Hannula, Robert Kocik, Elisa Laurila, Riikka Notkola, Alan Prohm (2007–2009)
Visual Material: Saara Hannula and Tommi Vasko
Documentation: Tani Simberg, Christopher Hewitt, Salla Lahtinen and working group
Production: HIAP, Baltic Circle, Kiasma Theatre
Funding: Kone Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Arts Promotion Centre Finland


Anniina Ala-Ruona Re-TimingAnniina Ala-Ruona Re-TimingAnniina Ala-Ruona Re-Timing


Continuous quest of the twilight zones between being with oneself and being with others, conscious and subconscious, sleep and being awake, doing and non-doing, humans and nonhumans, nature and culture; experiences in constant transition.

Re-timing project is a perennial artistic research project initiated by Ana Teo Ala-Ruona and Gesa Piper. The project investigates ways of understanding and experiencing time and temporality as multilayered and heterogenous, rather than linear and defined concepts. Working group developes practices of re-timing daily lives, in order to try to perceive other beings’ temporalities and to be openly affected by them. These practices are shared with others in various ways: one-on-one performative settings, performances or events. The project is an ongoing initiative to transform human sense of self into more fluid and permeable, open and transformable.

The project started in the beginning of 2016 and has had until now three episodes. The first one was a month-long residency period in Mustarinda-residency.

The second was a week-long performative event in Helsinki, in Asematila. The event was an initiative to experiment how to facilitate an open and transforming space, that could preserve past experiences of its visitors. In the event we invited people and other beings to spend time with us, each other and the practices we had been developing within the project. People were also encouraged to develop re-timing practices of their own. Every day of the event was informed and influenced by the previous one, so that the overall form of the event was left relatively open for any kinds of changes to emerge.

The third episode of the project was a half an hour long opening ritual in the Nordic Permaculture Festival in Isnäs, Finland.

The project was supported by Taike.


Guidance performance by Anniina Ala-Ruona, Saara Hannula, Gesa PiperGuidance performance by Anniina Ala-Ruona, Saara Hannula, Gesa PiperGuidance performance by Anniina Ala-Ruona, Saara Hannula, Gesa Piper


Guidance was an overnight performance, which invited participants to enter the realm of nonhuman knowledge and guidance. It approached other beings, such as animals, plants, celestial bodies and spirits, as guides, who can show us the way and open up new levels and perspectives in relation to our lives and ways of being human.

The performance lasted for 15 hours and consisted of five acts or steps, which allowed the participant to attune oneself to the world of the nonhuman, to sensitize oneself to its messages and to receive its guidance. The steps were the same for everyone; however, the internal journey of each participant was unique.

The performance was carried out two times in Kattila in Nuuksio National Park in October 2015.

Working group: Saara Hannula, Ana Teo Ala-Ruona, Gesa Piper
Dates: October 3-4, October 10-11, 2015
Images: Saara Hannula
Venue: Nuuksio National Park
Production: Reality Research Center