We just asked people:
“Hey, do you have a nice story to tell?”
A n o n y y m i t O n n e l l i s e t //
H a p p y A n o n y m o u s
Anonyymit Onnelliset/Happy Anonymous is a project that wishes to challenge the uprising discourses of hate and antagonism, by appropriating one of its most recognizable weapons: the mask.
Who is behind the mask?
Through a compilation of thirty-eight short stories collected from eight different cities around Finland, Tuomas and Ninni Korkalo reflect about the subjectivity found inside the representation of “the other”. These testimonies, shown through both video and text, speak about gestures of kindness, uncovered in our everyday life, and how these, when exteriorized, are able to outrun hate speech and the imageries of terror by acknowledging people’s will to do good.
The project Happy Anonymous was done in co-operation with journalist Ann-Mari Huhtanen and screenplay writer Janne Rosenvall. With this work they wanted to bring out the open and heartening intensions and experiences that people share with each other in everyday life but which are not so often heard.
Tuomas Korkalo had a conversation with Third Space, on the happening of his exhibition and shared some of his thoughts and experiences with us.
When we started this project, I reflected:
“Is it easy to tell a kind of special story from the past?”
And I thought,
“It’s really hard, what type of story would I want to tell?
We went to public libraries and art museums,
that kind of public places, and we just asked people for a story.
First, I was a little bit shy,
like, ok…we have three different colours of ski masks,
“What is you favorite color?”
“ You can choose one!”
it is very nice that we don’t know about background.
We know nothing, are they rich or poor.
you get rid of that type of mask.
Who is speaking?
Who is behind the mask?
Initially I made this first mistake,
when I thought the stories had to be really long or really shocking.
But then I realized, they can be very short,
and at the same time very huge for each person.
I’m really grateful for the stories because
they reflect about many important things for all.
Of course I have to keep them as precious things.
Specially nowadays, when more than ever,
we can see hate speech is not anonymous anymore.
Quite many told, after the shooting of the videos:
“I feel quite nice! And very happy!”
That was a very positive moment.
When hatred and fear are growing in society,
and the violence ceases to be anonymous,
it becomes necessary to trust each other.
About the artists:
Ninni Korkalo (1982, Helsinki) and Tuomas Korkalo (1978, Rovaniemi) studied Fine Arts at the Imatra Art School (Imatra, Finland), and graduated in 2008. They both work and live in Rovaniemi. By exploring different techniques and media, such as drawing, painting and installation, Ninni and Tuomas are involved in different kinds of socially engaging projects and environmental art. They work in collaborative, individual and interdisciplinary projects.