Vieno Motors – An anarko-florist performance

Photography by Yehia Eweis

Vieno Motors is an anarko-florist performance initiated by visual artist Ilona Valkonen. During the performance artists tie flowers with other materials, such as old electric wires or leftover pieces of household pipes, resulting in imaginative arrangements and wild wearable pieces.

 

 
 
 
Second occupation – The story of Vieno Motors
 
Vieno Motors started to take shape when painter Ilona Valkonen and eight other artists were planning for a group show in which they could change their professional occupations and present the work under a pseudonym. Ilona’s first instinct was to make sculptures from wood with a chain saw. However, while meeting the others in a coffee house that also hosted a flower shop, she became aware of how influenced and seduced she was with the scent of flowers. Recalling a time in her childhood when she learned to ride a bike and could cycle for nine kilometres on her own just to go to the flower shop, she realised flowers had been a recurring theme in her life. In the exhibition Ilona hosted an anarko-florist shop, tying together flowers and everyday ephemera on her own, and also with other visual artists.
 

"Like musicians getting together and jamming, the flower arrangements offered a way to use visual art as live action." 

Ilona continues: "The dynamics of the performers as well as the presence of the audience influenced and contributed to the whole. For a painter who is used to working alone in the studio, this was little short from revolutionary."

 

Ruutu vase 205 x 270 mm copper
Ruutu vase 205 x 270 mm copper
Ruutu vase 115 x 180 mm clear
Ruutu vase 115 x 180 mm clear
Ruutu vase 205x180mm rain
Ruutu vase 205x180mm rain
Ruutu vase 205x180mm clear
Ruutu vase 205x180mm clear
Within a few years there has been around 50 Vieno Motors performances and 36 participating artists. In the show with Iittala, the way to involve the audience was to create wearable pieces directly on the participants as well as putting together arrangements using Iittala vases.
 
"In the anarko-florist way of seeing the world, materials in different stages of development are equal. Flowers represent material in full bloom, while old electric wires or other waste represent material past its heyday. In our time we are often presented with a clean outcome, and often we forget that the result of working with physical matter creates a bit of a mess and this mess is an inseparable part of the work. 
In the collaboration with Iittala we used plaster with the vases to create a base for the flowers, and it worked really well in the performance to be mixing and pouring the plaster. We have also noticed that including all kinds of materials in the vases with the flowers makes everything look as if indeed they were flowers in their own right."
 

 

In instructing the participating artists Ilona’s advice is: "Use the courage you use in approaching any other artistic endeavour utilising your specific visual skill set." As a result, all the anarko-florist performances have their own unique energy, and the flowers take form in visual arrangements like no other.