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Putkifestivaali / Antti-Jussi Rantala

first performed on August 18, 2018
Putkifestivaali 2018, Fiskars Village, Finland
performed once in 2018


Helsinki, Finland


Recalling the context.

It was a nostalgic festival, recalling the one that took place years ago in Fiskars, a village of artists. This time, the festival was on a nonstop 24 hour program in an old, dusty, ex-industrial hall.

Recalling the action.

I have a package of cigarettes, a bottle of red wine, and the thought.

The hopeless need for miracles is very real especially among artists—myself included.

Suddenly the given space and faces are illuminated by the baroque light of the setting sun meaningfully cropped by industrial windows. I know it won’t last long, so I agreed with the organizers to be the next in program. I acted briskly, starting immediately after two, which I naturally engaged in my action.

I asked them to stand on their chairs leaning on each other, resting their foreheads on a match and matchbox placed between them. I fetched two fresh green branches, which formed a decorative frame around them. They didn’t seem to fit in it.

I’m waiting with a cigarette in my mouth, hoping the match will slip from one forehead and light up. Nothing happens. I decided to light up in a conventional way and drop two cigarettes into my shirt’s breast pocket. The smokers are invited to light their cigarettes from my smouldering chest. After extinguishing the cigarettes with red wine, I invite two spectators for a toast from the hollows of my collarbones.

It’s time for an action.

I grab one of the heavy wooden planks stored in the space and walk outside carrying it in a biblical manner. Audience follows me to the nearby water reservoir. The plank is placed like a trampoline. I ask people from the crowd to step on one end of it like a ballast. With a glass of red wine raised to the toast, I walk down the trampoline above the deep water. In the end, physics wins the logic, and I fall into the lake. When I emerge, the red wine in the glass has turned into water.