Four years ago Valkeapää was a guest performer at SPIELART with his 10 JOURNEYS TO A PLACE WHERE NOTHING HAPPENS. Together with Taito Hoffrén he invited the audience into a tent, served hot drinks, made pancakes, and spent a lot of time in a rocking chair. Every now and then the audience could hear Finnish music, and in the middle of the performance a Father Christmas made an appearance. At first glance it may seem astounding that Juha Valkeapää now devotes himself to the death penalty. But he also approaches this subject with his customary bizarre and abysmal humor. He guides his audience through the history of executioners, their job description, and their instruments. And thus there develops a light evening inspiring one to reflect - an evening with songs, a few drawings, and of course a last meal.
Text, direction and performance Juha ValkeapääArtistic advice Kaja Kann, Kimmo Modig and Eero GrundströmArtisans Merike Lond, Sanna Bollström and Sam-SamEnglish radio voice David MawbyMusicBruce Springsteen, Nebraska; Elvis Costello, Let Him Dangle; Lorne Clarke, Execution Nights; Christoph Willibald Gluck, Dance of the Blessed Spirits
In Juha Valkeapääs' performances his voice is the essential element. During the last thirty years he has developed works that cross-over between institutions and genres, including in the areas of theater, radio, exhibitions, dance, performance, sound design, and music. In 2008 Juha Valkeapääs curated the festival Amorph!08 in Paris and Helsinki; in 2014 he assisted in the development of Mad House, a house for experimental performance art in Helsinki, and he is still involved in its further development. Valkeapääs studied philosophy, theater studies, and Hungarian language and culture, and he translates Greek, English, and Hungarian literature into Finnish.
Production and realization
Production Juha Valkeapää. Coproduction: Baltic Circle together with the international network SAMARA and the Long-Term Network Mobility programme by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the Performance Center Eskus Helsinki Realisation in collaboration with Galerie der Künste