Photo Jarmo Markkanen.
Photo Leena Kela.
Photo Leena Kela.
Photo Leena Kela.

I, a Bat


Installation I, a Bat invited the audience to pause for a moment and draw close to a bat in the old threshing barn Puimala in Fiskars, where several colonies of different bat species live. The bats move in here for the summer to give birth and to take care of their young. During the day, they rest hidden inside the barn, while at night they go out to hunt for insects along the stream that runs past the building. The sound installation by Leena Kela encouraged the visitors to try and observe the space like the bats who inhabit the barn. Would it be possible for us to understand the experience of a bat and to experience empathy towards it?

Performance artist and doctoral candidate Leena Kela (University of the Arts Helsinki) has been working with bat researchers for the past couple of years on a performance series dealing with bats and empathy. Alongside the installation, a discussion event took place on Sunday 30 August, with the members of the research group BatLab Finland (Finnish Museum of Natural History) Piia Lundberg and Katarina Meramo in conversation with Leena Kela and curator Taru Elfving.

The installation and discussion were part of the public programme of the exhibition Meadow in collaboration with ONOMA cooperative and CAA.

I, a Bat production included: Art installation by Leena Kela, sound design Marko Hietala, echolocating device Roope Pellinen and Matti Husu, and the bat sounds by Harry Lehto. Bat experts for the Fiskars installation were Thomas Lilley (BatLab Finland) and Jarmo Markkanen. The work has been supported by The Arts Promotion Centre Finland.