Esitystaiteen Keskus ry – Performancecentrum rf aka Eskus is a meeting place and cooperation platform for performance artists, founded in 2009. Starting out as an association formed by five member groups from Helsinki it has grown into a nationwide cultural community of eighteen member groups with over two hundred member artists. Projects that unite and employ members can be executed through Eskus, and far reaching networking can be channelled through the association. Collegial support can be offered
Eskus promotes the conspiciousness and internationalisation of performance art, improves the employment prospects for the artists and rents rehearsal spaces and office workplaces. The premises of Eskus are situated in Suvilahti in Helsinki. For the members from the capital region Suvilahti is a shared working space and meeting place. Countless ideas have been conceived through encounters in the shared space – new working companionships and ideas for projects are continuously born.
New members from other parts of Finland have joined in the last years, and the function has grown more nationwide. In 2018 Eskus launched the nationwide project Salaisuus (Secret), which in 2021 is known as Sata ja neljä salaisuutta (One hundred and four secrets). The project opens possibilities for engaging in performance art activities to young people who live far away from growing urban centers and versatile cultural services.
Eskus has also gathered the Taide ja evoluutio -network (Art and evolution), that deals with artistic and performative questions around evolution, non-humanness and interspecific relations. The network gathered for the first time in November 2018 at the autumn school arranged at Eskus, and the second time at the Spring school in April 2019. Despite the Corona situation it was possible for the network to arrange the Summer school in August 2020.
Eskus also runs residency activity. During the summer 2021 The Eskus residency will be arranged in cooperation with HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme.
Eskus opened its first premises in Suvilahti in Helsinki in September 2011. The second floor of the Puhdistamo building is a meeting place, a working space and a community for creating and producing performance art. It offers a home base for freelance artists and creates a frame for the developing art form. Esitystaiteen keskus offers rehearsal spaces and office workplaces to be used by performance artists and professionals from the wide field of independent theatre art.