Reindeer Safari

Photos: Lauri Kontula

The 20th of September 2014 we once again offered Other Spaces’ awardwinning walking performance Reindeer Safari.

People were invited on an unusual nature walk in the hills of Mols. First a Finnish and humorous lecture on reindeers and then you go off with your herd, wandering as … a REINDEER! On two legs, without any red nose or antler.

After a thorough introduction to the movement patterns of reindeers and how they act as a herd, the participants forms their own herd and go out on a walk for some hours. There are rules to follow – for instance you must decide collectively where to go and when to rest without talking – as reindeers are quiet animals and very seldom make noises.
In Reindeer Safari you are inspired by reindeers way of sensing the world and therefor you will sense your surroundings in a new way. We offer you the possibility to reflect on how humans and animals sense and act in their surroundings. How does an animal see the landscape you walk in everyday? And how do you normaly use your own senses?

Reindeer Safari  in September 2014 are co-produced with Borgerscenen at Aarhus Teater.

Reindeer Safari is created by the Finnish art collective Other Spaces. In 2011 Reindeer Safari was elected ”Environmental Art Piece” of the year. The performance has toured in  Europe, and was part of the Finnish pavillion at the Biennale of Venice 2013.

Reindeer 2013
In the spring of 2013 Secret Hotel invited the Finnish artist collective Other Spaces to perform their award winning walking performance ”Reindeer Safari” in Denmark.

Reindeer Safari was succesfully performed twice – in the Mols Hills, and in Vestereng, Aarhus.
After the two walks the participants talked about their experiences – below some reactions –

– “I was surprised how easy it was to feel where the others in the herd were. I felt safe and secure despite not understanding anything at the beginning.”
– “The first two grazings were the happiest moments in my life, being in nature.”
– “Feeling like I was stepping into something bigger than myself. Very non-judgemental. A giving-up state. There were hills I liked and hills I did not like…”
– “I felt safe enough to fall asleep (during grazing).”
– “Felt as an organic part of the group, not an individual, PLUS moving according to my needs and being aware, feeling safe…? Feeling the herd. Very individual experience and very much a group experience.”
– “There is akward silence and good silence – perhaps the strongest moment together was being silent together at the table after the walk had ended and we had talked a bit.”

Reindeer Safari also received reactions among the media as several articles were written – in Danish –

JP Aarhus interviewed the performers of Other Spaces at Vestereng.
Ebeltoft Folketidende wrote a teaser about the walking performance
The web art magazine
wrote an article about the her experience as a reindeer at Vestereng.
Lotus&Skov, a blog about surroundings and landscapes, also wrote about their experiences as reindeer.

Reindeer Safari was the subject of academic investigations. Read one of them here:
My Neighbourhood from a Reindeer Perspektive“, Lotus Lykke, student od Aesthetics and Culture,  Aarhus University.

Supported by Danish Arts Council, Nationalpark Mols Bjerge, Finnish Arts Council, The City of Helsinki, Woodshade Organic &  Mjødgård