Lauri Luhta (b. 1980, Vaasa) is organiser, curator, sound, media and performance artist. He is the founder, conceptualist and artistic head of the project Là-bas→ . At the University of Helsinki, he has studied history, literature, classical languages, and since 2014, theology.
Lauri Luhta began making ambient, minimal and noise music and sound art when he was living in Turku in the late 1990s. He moved to Helsinki in 1998 and became interested in performance art, which was starting to blossom in Finland at that time. In 2000, he organised the first Là-bas→ events in his mother Irma Optimist’s studio at Helsinki Cable Factory, the place that became known as Studio Là-bas→ . The activity gradually grew from club evenings to conceptual events, international festivals and collaborations with various institutions but remained independent from apparatuses of art and systems of culture.
Luhta has performed sound art live since 1999 and performance art since 2001. Different kinds of live appearances in Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, Germany, France and Spain – including group performances, happenings, lecture performances, speeches, provocations etc. – number several hundred. He has produced video works and taken part in exhibitions only occasionally, until he started to collaborate with his spouse Jenni Luhta (née Markkanen) in early 2015. In the future, he plans to concentrate, in his artistic endeavours, decidedly on the combination of sound, video, speech, text and theory (philosophy, theology, science, history). In art, Luhta works from the top down: from highly intellectual subjects towards an end result that is often anything but sublime.
At the event Là-bas→ Self as the Third, Lauri Luhta’s video trilogy, which includes Kultasuun liturgia (Goldmouth’s Liturgy) (2016), Fall of Twenty Years After (2015–2016) and Kokonaan kohtalon kolmiossa (Wholly in the Triangle of Destiny) (2016–2017), is on display as a video installation. These videos are based on Luhta’s sound and performance work. The soundtracks and actions of the videos have been recorded as event-specific live performances, whose visual documentation and dramatisation has been done by Jenni Luhta. The final part of the trilogy, Kokonaan kohtalon kolmiossa, to be completed in 2018, is presented as a “trailer” version.