Take Some and Leave Your Secret 2014

One day I received an email from my artist friend Riikka Keränen asking me if I want to participate in one project called Floating Market. It is a project where goods of all kinds are traded, and valid currency consists of anything the participating artists may place value in. Some group of artists go around all over Finland and assemble at irregular intervals to hold the project. This time was in Kajaani where I live and work. She told me that I can do anything I want.

These days there are many people who are seeking a help for mental disorder here in Finland. The most common way to find out the solution for the issue is meeting a professional therapist. The person who has a mental disorder goes to therapy getting a name called patient. Often a therapist only listen to you and you just talk to her/him. And at last the patient pay a great amount of money to thank for her/his job. Money makes you able to talk. If you don't have money, you are not even able to talk about your personal issues to someone whom you do not even know well.

On 29th August 2014, starting from 2pm, I decided to give some money to strangers and listen to their issues. I wrote down the word "take 50 cents and leave your secret" on a cardboard and put it right next a space for inviting participants. Most people only looked at me and passed by. Some stopped and started to talk to me very shortly. And at some point, one man stopped and sat on the chair. He told me the story of a soup kitchen as well as about his 101 years old mother. Also he told me about his grand son whom he has not seen for a long time. Only the thing what I did was listening to him. After the talk, he was confused, by the act of me trying to give him 50 cents. He looked at the 50 cents hesitantly, hold the 50 cents very carefully, and then slowly put it into his inside coat pocket. At last he thanked me and left words that "Now I feel like I am reborn".




Total duration of the project : about 5 hours
Place : Kajaani market square
Participating artists : Riikka Keränen, Jenni Markkanen, Mari Oikarinen & Nabb+Teeri
Photo: the second from top by Janne Nabb (+a part of the photo is edited by Mayumi Niiranen-Hisatomi)

― I tried to make a drawing of his portrait instead of putting a photo of him here. But it became too personal so I could not do it.