R.I.P. SERVICES

Premiere Vienna: WUK performing arts
05 – 09 January 2019
Location: Kunsthalle Exnergasse (KEX)

Premiere Helsinki: URB 16 Festival / Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art
04 – 07 August 2016
Location: Alppitalo office building, Alppila district

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You plan your life. Why not plan your death as well?

onemorequestion‘s  performance/installation R.I.P. SERVICES explores the limits of our self-determination in today’s consumerist society obsessed with optimization and efficiency. Due to the enormous progress in medicine during the last decades, our life can be prolonged in ways that were unimaginable for the past generations. However, we are also forced to take more control over life and death than ever before in history. R.I.P. SERVICES helps you manage the challenges of death and dying in the most enjoyable way possible.

Artistic team

Artistic director, script, performance: Joonas Lahtinen
Dramaturgy, script, production: Luzie Stransky
Performance, script: Mikko Niemistö
Set and lighting design: Eero Erkamo
Performance (videos):  Esther Csapo, Harald Jokesch
Performance (interviewers Helsinki): Tanja Turpeinen, Jukka Heiskanen
Performance (interviewers Vienna): Amalia Altenburg, Wolfgang Rettig, Veronika Schmidinger
Production assistant (Vienna): Kerstin Hetfleisch

Performances in Helsinki were supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Finnish Cultural Fund/ Uusimaa Regional Fund, and ruumisarkkuliike.fi.

Performances in Vienna were supported by Frame Contemporary Art Finland, the Finnish Institute in Germany, and Academy of Fine Arts Vienna / Institute for Education in the Arts

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Press quotes:

… R.I.P. SERVICES offered us one surprise after another; it was a very detailed crash course on dying prepation … Did I become distressed? Not at all, because the seducing soundscape, the precise script, the intriguing video projections, and the breathing exercises that we did together gently led us to reflect on these issues … The performance succeeded to pierce the untouched mental “foil” in the human mind that keeps the fear of death away … The hour-long performance also included humour. It offered “personal trainers” for “death management”… this service that chaffed at life-coaching businesses was, I would say, a frighteningly brilliant idea.
Raisa Rauhamaa, Teatteri & tanssi + sirkus, Helsinki

… R.I.P. SERVICES is an interesting experience … it is possible to address even such a topic as death in a seemingly airy and distanced manner and yet, simultaneously, discuss fears and taboos that are related to it. The performance leaves room for the spectator to experience emotions by herself, for herself.
Sirpa Puhakka, Kansan Uutiset, Helsinki

…Well-made yet unambiguous performance by Joonas Lahtinen at WUK in Vienna … Lahtinen has built a “cool“ service center in the gallery of Wuk that, as a functional space, embodies the logic of pragmatism and strongly portrays the human being as an expense factor.
Helmut Ploebst, Der Standard, Vienna

… R.I.P. Services offers interesting parallels and challenging views regarding the side effects of our fixation on “wellbeing” … Already the thought of a “good” or a “better” death is a sarcastic notion about our contemporary culture … the performance can be seen to “fill” the loophole in Michel Foucault’s concept “biopower” … Death, as Foucault puts it, is the limit of power. R.I.P. Services, perhaps also as a general critical comment on the consumerist society, toys with the idea that we may be able to productivize this ultimate limit that escapes power – the limit between life and death.
Matti Tuomela, Mustekala Kulttuurilehti, Helsinki


Photos (from top): Luzie Stransky, Joonas Lahtinen, Ulli Koch