We Have Hospitality!

We Have Hospitality!


In the summer of 2014 the Mänttä Art Festival also extended into a community work in which five foreign community members were invited as guests to Mänttä. The visits started at noon and lasted until the following morning with a personal and extraordinary experience of Mänttä as their goal. The guests got to sleep in a children's play house, a boat or a terrace. There were no ordinary alarm clocks; instead the notes of an accordionist playing outside the window were heard in the morning. The evenings were topped off with shared dinners with Mänttä citizens - discussions focusing on the values and basic components for a good life.

In developing my art I often think about what I would do if I only had 100 hours left in this world. The answer to that is clear: I would like to talk about relevant issues and discuss the world with other people, strangers in particular. To learn new things and hear as many new ideas as possible. Also, the thoughts and opinions of people who are not necessarily like-minded. For how else can a person learn to understand the world and humanity than by spending time with people who have different values from ours, and especially with people unknown to us.

The starting point for this piece was counterbalance for fear. The more we are afraid, the more we hold back. For any kind of development to take place, one must go out of one's comfort zone, get to know new things, reaching ahead, up, down, and to the sides, trusting that what you find in this world will be of importance, meaningful, and good in itself. The world being in the state it is at the moment it feels even more important for us to be able to depend on each other, lean on one another, and not to seclude the rest of the world from around us.

Everything that happened during the visits was based on suggestions and offers of hospitality. In some ways gifts and proposals: This is what I can give from my life to others.  

The work was part of the Mänttä Art Weeks.