I dress on a suit which I have equipped with cans on springs, broken clockenspiel, tiny bells. I walk slowly and silently, trying not to make any noise. Thus I create silence. The suit is a kind of fool’s dress. There one can see king’s fool, village looney, shaman, Toshiro Mifune’s mad man in a Kurosawa film and the wandering beggar monk Mannerheim took picture of somewhere in Caucasus, in early 20th century.
The first time I wore this suit at Vaasa kunsthalle in September, 2008. An other artist stopped running his simulated marathon on treadmill, and I appeared to the hall. I felt like boat sailing amongst the people. It was clear to hear silence growing.
The next time at Turku book fair a month later. I performed portraits at the Dada stage. Starting the performance, I put the suit on, stepped down from the stage and walked a short tour. The big hall full of people didn’t fall silent, but I was appealing enough to catch few visitors to listen to my portraits.
In the end of June, 2009, I performed in the suit in Viiala, small town of 5.000 inhabitants. I had tuned the suit with six rasps made in the former Viiala rasp factory, and a small active loudspeaker. I interviewed people, asking how they were doing. I recorded the interviews and edited them into a 15-minute long piece of sound. The sound came from the speaker in my back, when I started walking towards the festival’s last performance, handful of people following me. We made three hundred meters in 45 minutes. Then I put myself into a wheelbarrow that had followed me as well, and spent the last quarter of an hour of the trip in there, crouching. I heard that it was quite meditative experience.
On 31st of January, 2013, in his own way, Silent man opened a performance art exhibition at Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum in Turku.
Before Christmas, 2015, Silent Santa appeared at Kuopio Market Square. I had sewn a hundred bells on his dress, and decorated it with led lamp chains. He was a magnificent creature. I had thought that he would demonstrate against commercial Christmas, but walking as Santa, I realised that he was spreading warmth and light.
Photo: mope 08 & Anti Festival