Öljy kankaalle / Oil on canvas

Essi Kuokkanen

I once saw a dead woman lying on the street. It seemed like there was an invisible circle around her that nobody dared to pass. I think everyone just wanted to stare at her, but nobody had the nerve to stop for too long. I kind of wanted to lie down beside her and hold her hand, because that’s probably what I’d want to be done to me if I was in her place. On second thought, maybe I wouldn’t want just anyone to hold my hand. I mean, it’s not like you can make a choice when you’re dead. So that’s why I didn’t do it. And maybe I also felt too embarrassed. So, I went home and watched TV.

One time I went to Citymarket and there was this one woman who started crying a lot, and she had to sit down by the freezer. It felt like everyone wanted to stare at her but were too embarrassed to do so. So was I. And nobody dared to take anything from the freezer.

Oh yeah. I once had a dream about the Buddha, who looked at me and asked:

“Does happiness have a voice? If it does, will it recognise its echo?”

Essi Kuokkanen, 1991, Pieksämäki