© Henriikka Kontimo 2020

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duration 1,5 hours
Romainmotier, Switzerland

For the performance I baked together with a local baker 219 black character-shaped breads, set in the Swiss letter type Helvetica. From the characters one could form a 219-character-long text I had written.

The aim of the performance was to develop and present a new ritual inspired by the medieval village of Romainmotier: its religious rituals, its bread baking culture, and the woods surrounding the village.

The participants of the performance were led on a walk into the woods. There, in the forest, upon arrival to a small cave, they were given the bread characters. They were instructed to eat a part of each character and put the remains into the cave. In this way each character became a part of the participants and a part of the forest.

When the characters were eaten and put to the cave, each participant was given an envelope in which there was printed on a sheet of paper the text I had written; the text one could form from the letters. Everyone was asked not to open the envelope before they returned home. Then the participants were led through the woods back into the place where the performance started from.

The text in the envelope, written in French, was a recipe for constructing the forest in one's mind, based on the sounds one could hear in that specific place in the forest and turn the sounds into auditive memories.

The text:


une recette pour une personne

1 partie babillage de la riviere
1 partie crissement des feuilles sèches sous des sabots des chamois
1 partie coassement des corbeaux
1 partie conversation des merles
1 partie silence de soi-même

Mélange tous les ingrédients dans ton esprit.
Verse le mélange dans ta mémoire.

Temps de préparation: une vie entière



1 part babbling of the river
1 part crunching of dry oak leaves under chamois' hooves
1 part croaking of ravens
1 part chatting of blackbirds
1 part silence of the self

Mix all ingredients in your mind.
Pour the mixture into your memory.

Preparation time: a whole life.