Artist Kateřina Šedá Is Creating Live Performances During Your Commute

Her "Tram Buskers’ Tour" takes place next week.

Helsinki tram.Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Helsinki tram.
Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

When Kateřina Šedá traveled to Helsinki, Finland to do research for a public arts commission, the artist noticed that the historic trams had unusual seating arrangements which tended to isolate passengers. To encourage public interaction, the Czech artist decided to place buskers on the tram route.

Her “Tram Buskers’ Tour” will take place from Wednesday, March 16 through Saturday, March 19, during Finland’s annual IHME Contemporary Art Festival, which promotes ephemeral works of art in public spaces. Next week, the tram’s passengers can expect their usual commute to be enlivened by performers from around the world.

The participating musicians were chosen through a public competition. The lineup, according to e-flux, will involve a variety of acts, including American psychedelic pop artist The Space Lady and Italian lutist Bence Boka.

“I hope this project will not only liven up the scene,” Šedá said in the video below, “but also start a discussion about ways of behaving in public space.”

In last year’s edition, the festival invited English artist Jeremy Deller, whose conceptual work found him placing exhibitions from various Helsinki museums into public spaces.

In 2014, Israeli artist Yael Bartana invited Finnish participants of different ethnic and cultural origins to live together for seven years. “Whoever is chosen,” she said, “is the image of Finland, according to this project.”


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