This is an art piece that contains performance (both private and public) and visual art. More specifically I could say, that in this art piece performance leads to visual art. This piece is an activist act, tribute to the unseen, those behind the scenes – and a question about responsibility.
I am going to continue this project/process: draw helpers’/volunteers’ hand portraits, make them into posters and distribute them around different cities. The project started May 2016 when I distributed 200 posters in the streets of Kallio, Helsinki. I had a privilege to draw the people who work in Hurstin Apu -organization distributing food and clothes to those in need. In August 2016 I continue in Turku, FInland, where I will then distribute the posters in October as part of New Performance Turku Festival.
Helsinki, May 2016
This is a performance about – and for – those who help. I decided to concentrate on the people who share the food in “leipäjono”. I will get to know who they are and draw their hand-portraits in private sessions. On May 20 I distributed the portraits on cityscape.
I ask myself:
Whose job it is to help those who need help? Whose job it is to show who help?
After I asked myself:
Who am I to thank anyone? Who am I to introduce anyone?
In the end my question formulated into:
What is the role of an artist or art in general in today’s society?
I first lined up “leipäjono” on Wednesday 11.5.2016. My idea was to meet with those who help, introduce myself, and ask them to pose for me. But: I could not stop the line and have a conversation, not even short one. I felt bad not taking the food that was offered me.
On Friday 13.5.2016 I visited “leipäjono” when it was closing at 14.00. I got to introduce myself to few helpers and to Heikki Hursti. I was invited to pay them a visit on monday 16.5 with better time.
At 10am on Monday 16.5.2016 I rang the doorbell in Helsinginkatu. I was feeling again a little nervous, not knowing what will happen. I was taken to a meeting room, where all the workers of that day had been having a talk about today’s work plan. I was welcomed friendly, asked questions and offered coffee and bread. We discussed for instance about the role of an artist as a servant for community and after a while I was told: “So shall we start, draw my hands now!” I had come without paper and charcoal, but luckily had a sketch-book and pens. While others prepared the days work (“cloth-line”) I had helpers coming one by one to pose. I drew 5 hands that day, and heard a wide range of stories.