One night event on the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence
Bita Razavi's Divorce Ceremony, is a public event that takes place on the eve of the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence in 2017. The ceremony, that celebrates Razavi's divorce, is the closure of a process she started in 2011 with her MFA graduation work, How to Do Things with Words: A Legal Performance, in which she got married in her studio in the Academy of Fine Arts.
"We don’t have to be married anymore. And we want to say this publicly, because we believe that society does not consist of units. Families, marriages, residence permits and nationalities, these are the relation-ships we have founded ourselves, as individuals – they are the forces that act upon our bodies. These relationships individualize us"
In Divorce Ceremony, Razavi returns to, and brings to a close, an older work. The work documented a decision: her marriage ceremony performed in her studio in collaboration with Jaakko Karhunen. This legal union enabled her to get a permanent European residence permit as a result of a six-year long process of tackling the legal/social system. Now this process, or bureaucratic performance is over and she can ceremonially divorce herself from the legal contract, to individualize herself again in the eyes of the law.
To close the cycle, the ceremony takes place at the gallery of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, and the divorce is performed by the official representative of the institution, dean of the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki.
The Master of ceremonies for the event is the UK based curator Alexandra MacGilp.