Porchetta (Helsinki and Bologna)

Porchetta. Performance with Karin Andersen,Bologna, Helsinki, Mikonkatu, 2000

The performance was a part of the Transplant Heart-project, organised by the Sculptors’ Union in Finland and curated by Juha van Ingen as a cooperative project between the European cultural cities of the year 2000. The artists were chosen one from Helsinki and one from Bologna by the curator with the idea that they would meet in this project for the first time. Karin Andersen from Bologna was presented for me and we immediately thought we could get along and collaborate on a project.

We decided to make a performance in two parts; one in Helsinki and one in Bologna. The idea was to bring a part of Bologna and Italian culture to Helsinki and a part of Helsinki and Finnish culture to Bologna. 

  The inspiration for the performance in Helsinki was an old, later forbidden, festivity in Bologna when the nobles and the clergy were sitting on the roofs of the palaces in Bologna, throwing fried pigs on the poor people standing below. Wine was also poured through sculpted stone heads on the people. Another inspiring element which distinguish Bologna are the famous covered pavements, the porticoes.

We wanted to turn the constellation upside down and create a situation when the “poor” artists would sit up on a portico in Helsinki and kindly send down pig shaped cookies to the bypassers.  A portico structure was constructed in the middle of the pedestrian part of Mikonkatu in the centre of the city. 

The pig shaped cookies were made according to a traditional Bolognian recipe. Under the pig cookies was a red napkin, decorated with a golden drawing, made in collaboration between us, and information about the original Porchetta festivity. Those who wanted, also got to taste the lemon water, poured through a plastic tube.