HatWalk is a performance based on the first wave of sculptural hats made by Harri Piispanen.
performed in: my home (Helsinki)
media: mixed-media hats/ performance / HD-video
duration: varies / 2:57
It’s a Job
It’s a Job is a performance where Harri Piispanen spends a working day inside a self-made coffin. During the performance people are invited to spend time next to the coffin and talk with the artist if they want to.
The performance is based on a question: would we be able to live a more fulfilling life if we were more in contact with our mortality, even a small fragment of practical preparations? The uncomfortable lying in the confinement of a wooden box started from a contrast between the present and family history: Piispanen’s grandfather had made his own headstone, something that would be exceptional in Finland today where everything even remotely related to funerals is left to professionals.
It’s a Job is literally a job. It is an attempt to learn Ars Moriendi, “the Art of Dying”, by first building a personal Memento Mori and then spending time inside it and sharing the experience.
performed in: Lume Center (Helsinki), Kehä-festival (Oulu), Turku main library at”Kuka pelkää kuolemaa”-event
year: 2014, 2016, 2017
media: handcrafted pine coffin / performance
size / duration: 200 cm x 60 cm / 8h
photo: Aleksi Jaakkola
Metallic Politics is based on a speech held by the Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä on the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE on 16 September 2015.
In the performance the speech is repeated word for word by Poroosi, a one-man spokenword-metal-poetry band and an alter ego of artist Harri Piispanen. In the distorted atmosphere of growls and corpsepaint only that what is said is left to be savoured and scrutinized. And that what is said, is said in a way that isn’t easily ignored.
performed in: 5000m2-exhibition (Lappeenranta).
year: 2015, 2016
media: several variations – live performance / HD-video / installation with sound / costumes
size / duration: varies
Bodycount is essentially a giant costume made from bodies of used cuddly toys. The toys form a seemingly soft and appealing outer shell that in reality is hot, rigid and weighs 45 kilos making it extremely unbearable to wear. When worn it has only one head: the one responsible for all the decisions. When a person puts it on it becomes a mascot for some undefined purpose – colourful, appealing and disney-like but twisted.
In the performances I wear the costume in different occasions, usually walking for a predetermined route or just wearing it as long as I can.
performed in: Lume center (Helsinki), Cable factory (Helsinki), Objekti (Espoo)
media: used toys, performance
size / duration: height of the suit 175cm / varies 5-35min
video: Aleksi Jaakkola
Walk for a Week
Walk for a week is a performance based on observations made during walks within a set location: a road in Antwerpen that stretches from the Franklin Rooseveltplaats to the Carnotstraat. Out of these observations objects were made in the form of T-shirts. Each of them contained one short story describing an event that I saw during the walks and stated the place and time where it originally occured.
At the end of the week one last walk was made retracing all the places. In each spot the shirt with the story connected to it was peeled off, gently folded and given to a passerby as a gift, returning the stories back to the street where they had originated.
performed in: Mapping a Site project (Antwerp)
media: printed shirts, performance
size / duration: 1 hour
photo: Kris van ‘t Hof
Identity Wanted is an event that combines features from games and performance into a participatory art piece located in the heart of the city. In each performance participants change their appearance with masks created on the spot. The actual “game” part aims in creation of new photos that are exhibited: each performance is in a way a laboratory that creates its own documentation as well as an art work related to it through the performing part.
The game has been organised three times. In 2012 it was held in Helsinki in connection with the Seminar of Serious Games and in Lahti market square as a part of Oon Kaupungissa -urban art festival. In 2013 it was organised in Turku Market hall as a part of Olohuone 306,4 km² -urban art festival.
media: public participatory game / experimance, printed masks
duration: varies from 5 to 30min
photos: taken by participants