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S 14. Sep

Performative installation “Peal kiri peal”

14:00 - 18:00

Viljandi city | Viljandi Koidu Seltsimaja

  • Exhibition/museum
  • Theatre
  • Other
  • Main programme


“Peal kiri peal" is a semiotic-based performative installation advocating for people's conventional perceptions and potential ways of entities, created and performed by two Japanese artists, Keisuke Sugawara and Shion Yokoo-Ruttas. Open at Viljandi Koidu Seltsimaja on Thursday, 12 September 2024 between 18:00 and 22:00, and Saturday, 14 September 2024 between 14:00 and 18:00.

We question the conventional perceptions and values as well as the state of the performing arts, from semiotics, sociology, and communication studies. With the help of deconstruction, we explore new possibilities and the multifaceted nature of our thinking and surrondigns, composing various artistic and academic elements in videos, sounds, human bodies, and natural and artificial materials. For instance, how would you perceive the phrase “Peal kiri peal”? It is a wordplay in Estonian: peal stands for on top or the surface, kiri for letter, and pealkiri together for title or heading. Therefore, the title can be interpreted as on top of the title and/or on top of a letter. We are also conscious of the existence of “a black box” between the communicators, i.e., messages sent and perceived frequently mismatched for each to own one’s unique toolkit to comprehend signs. Yet, we hereby give it a try.

Our lives and the environments surrounding us are changing daily due to socio-political conditions besides environmental issues. One survival strategy may have been to build one’s beliefs and principles regardless of truthfulness. We believe that there is a strong need for us to construct our own lives and social reality with a more open mind.

The project “Performative installation “Peal kiri peal”” is a part of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 main programme.
The activities of the European Capital of Culture is supported by A. Le Coq, Delfi Meedia, Top Auto, and Lux Express.

The video content of the event has Estonian and English subtitles, and the hall has seats with armrests and/or backrests.

Shion Yokoo-Ruttas expresses herself and her surroundings in (performing) arts humanely and honestly, exploring theatricality and anti-theatricality in both theoretical and practical terms. Originally from Japan and currently residing in Estonia, she obtained a degree in dance from the Viljandi Culture Academy in 2022 and is currently pursuing her studies in semiotics.

Keisuke Sugawara is a Japanese performing artist/choreographer based in Berlin, Germany, with 10+ years of professional career. His work shares many aspects with installation art while focusing on a physical approach designed for the audience to experience it as a whole space. In 2017, he relocated to Germany to further pursue his career. He has directed more than ten performances and was invited to several international art festivals.

Authors: Keisuke Sugawara and Shion Yokoo-Ruttas
Partner: Tartu 2024
Technical support: Tatsumi Ryusui and Rommi Ruttas

If you want to grab a bite or need a place to stay, see what the Tartu 2024 hospitality network offers in the area:


  • EST
  • ENG


  • Partially accessible for people with reduced mobility
  • Partially accessible for the hearing impaired


kotonoha OÜ


Carl Robert Jakobsoni 18, Viljandi, Viljandi maakond, Eesti

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