Roi Vaara

Born: 1953

Roi Vaara is a pioneer in performance art and a forerunner in video, installation and collective art in Finland and internationally an acclaimed performance artist. His art is site and situation specific experiments made live. For him art is the way to approach life, nature and reality corresponding to actual existence. Vaara has performed since 1979, by now over 500 performances and his works have been presented in over 50 countries. Since 1988 Vaara has been active in an influential performance collective Black Market International whose mode of operation of its durational performances is based on free and open exchange of ideas. In 2001 Vaara organised the biggest performance art festival in the world, the EXIT festival in Helsinki. Anybody willing to perform was invited and 300 artists from 34 countries did so. Vaara studied at the University of Arts and Design in Helsinki during 1972–75 and at Jyväskylä University 1976–77. Vaara was awarded with Ars Fennica Award in 2005 and with Pro Finlandia honorary medal in 2010. He has lectured and held workshops in art colleges, universities and academies in many countries. Vaara was born in Moss, Norway from Finnish parents and lives in Helsinki and Budapest.

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