I BLAME YOU, TONY BLAIR! in “Teatteri, Tanssi + Sirkus” 2/2014

Here you go, the translation of the article about I BLAME YOU, TONY BLAIR! in the most renowned theatre magazine in Finland, “Teatteri, Tanssi + Sirkus” 2/2014, written by the Editor-in-Chief Annukka Ruuskanen  — stay tuned, more documentation about our Blair project coming soon!


Artists, reclaim the arts!

Joonas Lahtinen (29) is a performance artist moved to Vienna whose Ein.Küchen.Bau delighted audiences at the Stage Festival in Helsinki last summer. It reflected on the ethos behind the fitted kitchen and opened up wise views on our whole contemporary way of life.

Now, the group Joonas Lahtinen u.a. delves into the European art policy in their premiere of I blame you, Tony Blair!. Its protagonist Harald Jokesch (in the photo) has been working in the German-speaking theatre field since the early 1980’s and personally experienced changes in the funding and production structures of art. The performance combines fictitious and biographical elements from Jokesch’s career.

“We’re making a bittersweet and humorous monologue by an aging performance artist, with an installational character as to the soundscape and set design,“ says Lahtinen.

“To the character Harald Jokesch, Tony Blair and the ’creative economy’ logic propagated by him are the to blame for these developments. Harald feels that because of Blair’s politics, especially freelance artists have to work and think more and more like service providers, “creative entrepreneurs.“

Joonas Lahtinen u.a. urges us to think about what the creative economy can offer to older performance artists who don’t want to or don’t have the skills to adopt the “marketing spirit.“

“What role does the theatre as institution play in the contemporary society that worships efficiency, measurability and profitability?“

I blame you, Tony Blair! premieres at the Imagetanz festival organized by the Brut Wien art centre. The theme of this year’s festival is „Who cares?“, that means, the different forms of art-making and caring.

I blame you, Tony Blair Imagetanz, Vienna, 20. and 21.3.



About Joonas Lahtinen

Joonas Lahtinen (* 1984, FIN/A) is a performance artist, director and researcher who lives and works in Vienna and Helsinki. His performances are often site-specific and have a strong installational character. In his works, he explores the politics of space and of the everyday from perspectives that are both humorous and disturbing. Joonas has studied Performance at Queen Mary, University of London and he is writing a PhD thesis about the problematic of “emancipatory” participative art at the University of Helsinki. Since 1995, he has performed in various Live Art, theatre and TV productions both in Finland and abroad.
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