MOBILE EXECUTION UNIT GT
27 November 2006, Cervera de los Montes
Erkka told me about it this summer when we were having dinner in a bar outside his father-in-law's lace factory in Shenzen but I couldn't believe him. China has a fleet of mobile execution units. Sure, it's clinical and modern to die in a van by lethal injection compared to traditional gunshots. Kang Zhongwen, the designer of the death van says it promotes human rights.
We are trying to raise money to buy one of them, the smallest model is around €30.000 but I want all the extras like air conditioning, a GPS navigator, leather seats, alloy wheels and a beer can holder. Our idea is to ship the vehicle to Europe and make a Grand Tour in June: Kassel, Venice, Münster and Basel.
MY FIRST LECTURE IN SPAIN
23 November 2006, Madrid
I lectured at Universidad Europea in Madrid. I was extremely nervous before leaving home and scratched my car's wing mirror to another car. Actually, I wasn't jumpy for speaking at the university but for driving to Madrid's endless labyrinth peripheries.
First, I headed to Majadahonda to pick up Carlos at some hospital and then to Villaviciosa de Odón where the university campus is located. This was the first time I seriously wanted to have a GPS navigator. Finally, I arrived 30 minutes late - from my Nordic point of view it sounds disastrous but maybe in Spain it's just normal.
The lecture was fine. There were over 20 students, not like when I was studying and the professors had to beg students to attend famous visiting artists' lectures. In the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki you could have a true art star speaking and two students listening.
The best thing was that the students asked me difficult questions like about the contradictory of forming part of global capitalist market and same time criticizing it. I didn't tell that in reality I hardly sell anything.
POLITICS & BURGERS
22 November 2006, Madrid
Today, I went to Madrid to speak on radio. I told about my work and I also made clear my political ideas about Spain and it's constitutional monarchy, hard core capitalism and stale imperialism. I'm an immigrant and can't vote, so I have to try to influence the people with full civil rights.
I had lunch at Burger King. I ordered the burger which has been denounced by the Minister of Health and Consumption because it's too big. It was good publicity for Burger King - without it I would have chosen something else, probably something much lighter.
Double Whopper XXL with double cheese and quadruple bacon was big but nothing compared with Texas fast food chain Whataburger's Triple Meat. That one I couldn't finish. In the Whopper, the problem wasn't the trans fats but salt - I've drank liters of water and I'm still thirsty.
By the way, in one Stewart Home novel London art stars eat at Burger King.
20 November 2006, Pepino
I'm the fastest artist in Southwestern Europe. The video Burning Flags was filmed today at noon and 9 p.m. it was on my web site. To be honest, I'm not fast, it's my web wizard Niina who is fast. And she is based in Prussia.
My cinematographic studio was the stable Marta and Alvaro are building for their horses. Pedro had some doubt if it's illegal what we were doing and, actually, it is in many countries. Also, printing paper flags for commercial purposes can be forbidden by law.
In the fiesta of our village the Plaza (of Generalissimo Francisco Franco) is decorated with small flags of postindustrial countries. After the parties they stay up there for weeks, dirty and broken.
BLACK CENTIPEDE AGAINST RIIKO SAKKINEN
18 November 2006, Cervera de los Montes
Some curators have crazy ideas. Lisa asked me to do for a show called Power One collaboration with the heavy metal and art duo Black Centipede. Bill and Jordan made silk screen printing on heavy watercolor paper and now I draw on the prints and after me they print on them again. I had my doubts but this is going to be awesome work. No fear of the white paper. And a new experience of artist quality paper. Generally, I get my papers from Chinese discount stores.
WHERE AM I FROM?
15 November 2006, Madrid
Yesterday, I woke up 6.30 a.m., caught a bus from Talavera to Madrid, left my aluminic Rimowa suitcase at my hotel in Gran Vía, cabbed to Círculo de Bellas Artes and had few gin tonics before the press conference. Nobody got annoyed for my racist slogan on the wall. Maybe it's impossible to be provocative in a white cube. Or at least be provocative and do beautiful modernist stuff like my small framed drawings.
After the press conference, where I saw no journalists, I had some tempura and sushi with the other artists and instead of the dessert I went with Fermín to Medina Mayrit Arabic baths to a massage. Later, I met my wife and her niblings in Museo del Jamón. All this was luxury fun but I in the opening I felt 83% lost. There were too many people and I was just one of them. No stardom was available.
And I don't like meeting new people. They always ask me first "where are you from?" and I just hate it. I answer I'm from Cervera de los Montes. But they say that I'm too blond. And then I ask what is it to be from somewhere:
- to be born in that place
- to have been raised in that place
- to live in that place
- to have the nationality of that country
- to support the football team of that place or country
That's fun once or twice but I had to play the same game 34 times during the evening.
Finally, I wanted to be alone and went to Cock but it was closing at 3 a.m. I walked to the hotel and the African prostitutes patrolling Gran Vía yelled me "I love you, darling".
13 November 2006, Cervera de los Montes
Riiko Izawa (井沢 リイコ) has never had a boyfriend, apparently because of the extreme smallness of her breasts. One day she meets a strange salesman and ends up accidentally ordering a boyfriend. Riiko is rather naïve, clumsy, and simple-minded, but kindhearted and hardworking. She is the main character of Absolute Boyfriend, a manga series.
I asked Yuko if I'm going to be in embarrassing situations in Japan for my name. It's girl's name there. She said that it's just good, people will remember it. I'm going to Tokyo in three weeks.
ERASING OUTDATED HEROES
12 November 2006, Cervera de los Montes
In 1953, Robert Rauschenberg erased a Willem de Koonings drawing. I'd like to do the same. My plan is to get a Thomas Hirschhorn cardboard kiosk and live in it in Roma people's shanty town in Talavera de la Reina. It's important that the place is periferic, where no art people see me, I'm not going to do a performance or something. I think, Rauschenberg went to de Kooning's studio and got the drawing for free. I wouldn't dare to go to knock Hirschhorn's door, would I?
PORTRAiT OF MY DAUGHTER
10 November 2006, Madrid
The installation at Circulo de Bellas Artes is finished. I think the little girl in the wall painting looks like my daughter.
I had dinner and drinks last night with Carlos Rodríguez-Méndez. He invited me to speak at Universidad Europea in Madrid after two weeks.
I'm reading Jean Baudrillard's El complot de l'art. Illusion et désillusion esthétiques. I haven't read this kind of books after the University but now I must prepare to speak with students who might know more than me.
SANDCASTLES IN GRAN VIA
07 November 2006, Cervera de los Montes
I'm going tomorrow to Madrid to paint a mural of a blonde girl constructing a sandcastle. I've made several wallpaintings but it makes me nervous. If I do the same thing on a canvas, it takes two weeks but now I can spend only three days. And there will be crowds of other artists and exhibiton installers waching me.
When I'm not painting I'm going to enjoy the taste of the metropolis, remeber that I'm a country man and the buildings in Gran Vía are bigger than trees down here.
Yesterday, I also got some new clothes. My wife wanted to buy me multicolored patterns, stripes and polka dots but I bought only descreet monochromatic brown and grey things. My colors are in my drawings, I don't wear them. Anyways, I think I'm going to look cool
young artist in Madrid.
03 November 2006, Madrid
Today, I began doing my installation at Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. I did on the wall the text Odiamos moros, sudacas y rubios with masking tape. The company that does the exhibition installation is the one where I worked few years ago. Now I was telling, as artist, orders to my ex-bosses. The best thing was to have lunch with my old fellow workers. Tomorrow a professional painter will color the wall salmon pink. I think it's the first time I don't have to paint my walls myself.
I've worked also as sales clerk in a kiosk, bartender, clown, model in advertisement, model in drawing class, dj, guide in a vineyard, guide in a museum of contemporary art, quad instructor, English teacher (believe or not!), teacher in art academy, art teacher for children, entertainer, street artist, columnist, art journalist, travel journalist, food journalist, gallery assistant, artist's assistant, expert in intercultural dialogue and coflict prevention for Council of Europe and cowboy.