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Jani Ruscica

Tarwe en Walnoot

Background Evening


During their Background Evening, Jani Ruscica presented the performance Felt the Moonlight on My Feet and spoke about their work via a live stream, from a Finnish holiday house.

In Felt the Moonlight on My Feet, Suzanna Pezo, a tap dancer interprets an array of prefixes, selected by Ruscica, which have been translated into Morse Code. Prefixes are like parasites, they latch on to words and alter their meaning. Take prefixes like re-, dis-, un-, which change the meaning of particular verbs. Or they can delineate ranking, such as sub-, vice-, ultra, or just emphasize change itself, post-, alter-, trans-, contra, dys-. Prefixes appear in almost all languages, and their brevity lends itself perfectly for staccato dance steps.

Felt the Moonlight on My Feet is a pas-de-deux of two languages, dance and morse. This also makes the work a collaboration between the artist and the dancer and becomes an intersection where language, place, culture, sculpture, sound, theatre and performance meet. Questions about translation and cultural representation arise. All of these are recurring themes in Ruscica’s artistic practice. Accompanying each solo exhibition, 1646 asks the artist to develop the content for a Background Evening. The Background Evenings nurture a direct interaction between the audience and the artists in an event based on discussion and exchange.


About Jani Ruscica: Ruscica (b. 1978) (they/them) was born in Savonlinna, Finland and raised in Italy; they currently live in Helsinki. Ruscica has realized a wide range of commissions, including those for Camden Art Centre and Animate Projects in London, and MoMA PS1, Creative Time, and MTV global in New York. Their work was included in Everything was Forever Until It Was No More, 1st Riga Biennial (2018); and presented at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (2016); and the Kunsthalle Detroit, Museum of Contemporary Art (2013).


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