Recover Laboratory has been built around the work team of the production named Recover Laboratory, originally realized in 2014. Director Miradonna Sirkka wanted to bring contemporary circus together with other art forms and to bring it off the stage by breaking the fourth wall. The goal was to develop the audience-performer relationship more interactive and to modify the prevailing structures in the field to be more equal.
FROM THE LABYRINTH TO THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH
In the early years, Recover Laboratory became known for its site-specific, experiential labyrinths. They were realized in Turku at the wastewater treatment plant, located underneath the Aura River and in Helsinki at the HSY wastewater treatment plant. Later the group created labyrinths in the public shelter of the Helsinki City Rescue Service and in Stockholm, in an old heating factory in Kummelholmen. The labyrinths have been supported by e.g. The Finnish Cultural Foundation, Arts Promotion Center, and the City of Helsinki.
Since 2017, Recover Laboratory started working also on stage-oriented works, site-specific walk works, and various commissioned works.
The group has implemented, for example, the concert hall tour of the Finnish rap artist Pyhimys in 2019, and curated an art exhibition and multi-art experiences for various events. In 2020, when the pandemic restrictions hit, RecLab was one of the first art groups to respond to the challenges of the pandemic era by creating safe performances for the public, both remotely and in urban space.
Today, Recover Laboratory has a diverse collection of works, including works made for traditional stages, site-specific works, commissioned works and one children’s performance.
RecLab’s works combine visual art (fine arts) and contemporary circus with music, performance art, theater, dance, sound and light art, game design and other art fields.
RecLab’s director duo Miradonna Sirkka and Sofi Häkkinen have worked closely together since 2015. They write the scripts and refine the group’s artistic content together. Häkkinen is often responsible for the visual identity and Sirkka for the movement side of things. Experience designer and producer Inna Huttunen is in charge of the experiential aspects of the productions. The art of Recover Laboratory is a fusion of multiple art fields and precise personal expertise of the core trio, mixed with the talent of other artists who are curated for each individual production.
The artistic content of RecLab varies depending on the piece. Recurring themes include, for example, the encounters between people, dealing with the everyday, contrariety, humor and surrealistic visual world.
One key theme is developing the audience-performer relationship to be more equal and interactive. For RecLab, it is important that the participant has the opportunity to be an active experiencer, whose choices matter. The group creates artistic worlds where the audience can immerse themselves in, each in their own way.
SET OF VALUES
RecLab works on a strong value basis. In the centre of the group’s activities there is always the aim to advance equality and humanity. Playfulness, humour, honesty and professional wellbeing are ever present in each production. A driving force in RecLab’s work is an artistic thoroughness that gets life from the mixture of many artistic professionals from different fields. Thoughts and ideas are pondered and looked at from many different angles in both the artistic practice as other activities of the group.