Finding Stillness- Revisiting The Contaminate 3 Festival- Part 2/3

Willem Wilhelmus

photo by Trevor Powers

Helsinki-based performance artist and organizer, Willem Wilhelmus shared his work with Boston in 2008 at the Contaminate 3 Festival.

photo by Trevor Powers

The beginning of the performance was light-hearted, Wilhelmus asking the audience to gather closetogether.  He asked the audience to let him borrow the coins that they had in their pockets.  The space filled with the sound of laughter and coins rattling as they exchanged hands and fell into Wilhelmus’ fedora.  Once he finished passing his hat, the mood changed.  He began placing the coins on top of his bald head.  It was impressive how the coins adhered themselves to his skin.  He laid down and began covering his face.  He cut open his shirt and continued placing coins onto his chest.  Once all of the coins had been distributed, he wrote “Please take your money” on a piece of paper that was taped beside his body.  The audience hesitated for a moment before obeying this silent request to repay his loan.  The audience looked like vultures, scavenging pieces of Wilhelmus’ still body.