EVERY MAN IS AN
but the water between gave us life
A performance by TEEMU MÄKI & ILKKA SARIOLA
The first version of EVERY MAN IS AN ISLAND... was performed in The Stockholm Smart show, 3–5. March, 1994. The second version was performed in The Contemporary Art Center, Moscow, 13–16. September, 1994. The third version was performed in Vilnius, Lithuania, at MUU-exhibition in the Jutempus-building 25. October 1994. The fourth version was performed in Ilkka Sariola's one-man-show at the Kluuvi Gallery in Helsinki, Finland, 23. March 1995. The fifth version was performed in Teemu Mäki's solo exhibition at the Cable Gallery in Helsinki, Finland, 26. April 1995.
Info leaflet of
THE FIFTH VERSION
given to the audience before the performance:
– dedicated to Blalla W. Hallmann –
Performed by: Teemu Mäki, Ilkka Sariola, Max Savikangas and Kimmo Lindell
1. SEGMENT: The audience comes in. The leaflets about the performance that you are now holding are offered to the audience by two performers, "doormen", who also willingly answer any practical questions concerning the performance. The audience is encouraged to move freely in the room; one can come and go and come back whenever one wants (the doors are left open), one can walk and talk freely. However one should not talk to the performers or touch them. In the first segment of the performance the main event is the other two performers in the middle of the room impersonating two characters, dressed appropriately: "The Desperately Hilarious Capitalist" and "The Guardian Angel Losing His Faith". These two perform unsuccessful masturbation.
2. SEGMENT: After the first segment the two performers who performed the unsuccessful masturbation put away the equipment used in it, change clothes and move into the next segment dressed normally. They have plastic bags with them and from these bags they take all the objects needed in this segment of the performance. First they show two b/w-photographs, the first is a photograph of an upside-down-woman from whose vagina a tree (a birch) protrudes upwards. The second is a photograph of a text. Text is titled CHRISTMAS NEVER COMES (12. version). Covering their upper-bodies they have white T-shirts. On the front of these T-shirts there is the word LIFE, and on the back the three words DEATH AT WORK (the "doormen" have had similar shirts on from the beginning of the performance already). They take a 3-meter-long measuring tape and attach the following objects it: (1.) a human skull, (2.) a saw, (3.) some red meat, (4.) a loaf of bread, (5.) a vibrator, (6.) a CD (Iannis Xenakis: Pleiades), (7.) a knife, (8.) a pair of boxing gloves. Then they stand facing each other, the measuring tape (with the objects) suspended horizontally from mouth to mouth. They hold the photographs in their hands showing them to each other. This position is kept motionless for a while (approximately 30-60 minutes).
During this the other performers, who were the "doormen" in the first segment, do the following: One performer monotonously kicks a black punch-bag in one corner of the room. The bag has a white Christian cross upside-down painted onto it. Another performer sits in another corner of the space, on a chair, and improvises on a viola (amplified). When the two performers in the middle of the room stop the suspended-measuring-tape-routine the other performers stop.
3. SEGMENT: The performers in the middle of the room put the measuring tape on the floor, remove the objects from the measuring tape and put them on the floor with a note: "TAKE ANY OBJECT YOU WANT, THEY ARE FREE". All objects that were on the measuring tape are there, but not the skull, the meat and the knife. One of these two performers takes from a bag the equipment needed for making steaks from the aforementioned piece of red meat. Then he prepares the steaks. During this the performer who played the amplified viola in the previous segment steps forward, comes to the "cooking site" and plays, acoustically, a part from a J.S. Bach solo cello suite (transcribed to the viola) to accompany the cooking. Also the fourth performer comes to the "stove" and waits for the meal. The cook prepares steaks, and simultaneously his partner puts some small stones into a pot of boiling water. As soon as the meat is ready the "cook" puts the meat on paper plates, and his partner decorates the steaks with the small cooked stones. The performers themselves share some steaks between each other. Then they offer the plates to some members of the audience. When the meat has been eaten, the performance is over.
After the performance which is made in the opening night of the exhibition, an unedited video documentary of the piece can be seen in the Cable Gallery, in the video-tent among other tapes.