The art of bowing to the East without mooning the West

Or about Third Way™ Ethics & Aesth(Ethics)

Written and performed by Rogério Nuno Costa, THIRD WAY™ is a lecture-performance that aims to establish a trans-universal, post-dogmatic and “Finlandized” geopolitical party: the art of neutrality turned into a spiritual dogma. Or a man falling in love by a country (Finland) for aesthetic reasons only. Despite the title, the performance has nothing to do with a “centrist” political point of view, as it has been addressed by Anthony Giddens in his well-known essay The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy; it is rather a philosophical statement, an anti-artistic “call-to-order”, a fictitious arithmetic equation (1+1=3), and a positivist standpoint towards Finland’s political history — the project’s subtitle being the humorous description of the term Finlandization (Suomettuminen) made by Finnish cartoonist Kari Suomalainen. The performance takes the form of a public speech, unfolding an autobiographical discourse that is simultaneously real and fictitious, thus transforming something personal and almost irrational into a discursive process of identification and “culturalization” — the aesthetics of the will to be part of —, as if it was possible to turn a country into a concept, or rather an operation, a lens through which we can perceive, in a particular yet utopian way, the pre/post-apocalyptical world we live in. During 60 minutes, Rogério Nuno Costa (under his Finnish alias Riku Nuutti Koistinen) speaks to an audience of “doomed human beings”, proposing a conceptual loophole through which they can escape the end of times, by traveling to a brand new Nordic world where the End (“Fim”, in Portuguese) is lifted to the category of Land — Fim-Lândia being that ultimate meta-Nation where the castaways will be accepted under the scope of an aesthetic asylum. Visually, the performance takes the form of a TEDx talk-inspired one man show mixed with a political rally and a motivational speech, with Rogério Nuno Costa incarnating a strange combination of spiritual guru, mad scientist, charismatic politician, and cyborg lecturer. Ultimately, TERCEIRA VIA™ is a declaration of love; a geo-emotional one.

Rogério Nuno Costa, 2013

“In a time, when the postmodern is beginning to fade and regress into ideological invalidity and expressive subhumanity, Rogério Nuno Costa uses all the ways and means of postmodernity with the sharp edge of a modernist artist. This transcends into new positivism. His art’s hyperreflection and hyperinterpretation takes it to hyperreality. Spectators have to struggle with his conceptual and textual machine, whose transphilosophy, antimathematics, pataphysics, metahistory, sociological ‘culinarism’, dogmatic paradoxes and parodic pathos are an agonal gesture thrown towards the audience, a challenge and an invitation to play.”

Lauri Luhta, in Là-bas→ Self as the Third, Festival’s program, Helsinki 2017.


Installation/Performance/Text: Rogério Nuno Costa | Light Design: Diogo Mendes | Styling/Fashion Design: Jordann Santos | Webstreaming: Daniel Pinheiro | Artwork & Promotional Video: Diogo Mendes | Morphing “Mannerheim” Picture: António MV & Cátia Pinheiro | Special Participation: Kirsi Poutanen |Voice Off (Portuguese): Ágata Pinho | Voice Off (English): Vanessa Kowalski | Translation (Finnish): Mika Christian Tissari |Translation (English): Vanessa Kowalski | Support to Finnish Vocalization: Sade Risku & Siina Levonoja | Photographic Documentation: Daniela Silva, Pedro Costa, André Miguel, Jani Nummela.

Production Support: Ballet Contemporâneo do Norte (Associated Artist) | Support to artist-in-residence (Porto): Núcleo de Experimentação Coreográfica | Support to artist-in-residence (Lisbon): EIRA. | Support to artist-in-residence: Kaapelitehdas (Helsinki). | Co-production: Circular Associação Cultural, Curtas Metragens CRL, Solar Galeria de Arte Cinemática, with financial support from Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Tour: (2013) Clube Ferroviário, Silly Season (Lisbon) | (2014) Galeria ZDB, Rabbit Hole (Lisbon) | (2015) Teatro Académico Gil Vicente, Festival END/Coletivo 84 (Coimbra) + mala voadora (Porto) + CAAA (Guimarães) + Rua das Gaivotas 6, Teatro Praga (Lisbon) + Festival Teatro Construção (Joane) | (2016) Armazém 22 (Vila Nova de Gaia) + Teatro Sá da Bandeira (Santarém) + desMOSTRA, Mosteiro São Bento da Vitória, Teatro Nacional São João (Porto) + Arthouse/Aalto University School of Arts Design and Architecture (Espoo) | (2017) Itse Kolmantena Festival, Là-Bas, Kaapelitehdas (Helsinki) + Balcão Cristal, Teatro Feiticeiro do Norte (Funchal) | (2019) Festival Periferias, Chão de Oliva (Sintra) + Festival Política, gnration (Braga).

Performance spoken in English, Portuguese, Finnish and Novilingua. Originally created for the program “Intensive Care” curated by Joclécio Azevedo within the frame of Circular – Performing Arts Festival (Vila do Conde, Portugal, 2013.


Further Reading

ManifestTthe 10 Laws of KOLMAS TIE™ (2008-2013)

Aesth(Ethics)For the catalogue “Intensive Care”, edited by Joclécio Azevedo for Circular/Festival de Artes Performativas de Vila do Conde (2014)

Tehtävä | MissãoPerformance’s brochure [selection of texts]

Photographic Documentation

artwork © Diogo Mendes