Pianist Juuso Sintonen taught me that, ”Stuttering is what the stutterer does in attempt to avoid stuttering”. It´s not what comes out of your mouth – but the fear and shame of stuttering. It is those secondary symptoms such as using a lot of filler words, repetitions, tapping a body part, tremors of lips
and the whole avoidance of certain words, syllables and first letters. Another person wrote in the internet, that it´s constant mental gymnastics to find words to avoid stuttering.
The information about stuttering focuses on healing and temporariness. If a child begins to stutter, the strongest assumption is that they will get rid of it in speech therapy. When Joe Biden won the election, the Finnish Stuttering Association commented that it is unfortunate and harmful to elevate people who have exceeded their stuttering – as stuttering role models. That it would be more encouraging for young people to have role models who continue to stutter and thrive in life.
Installation is inspired by conversations with Juuso Sintonen. I visualized interruptions, breaks and contrasts like there is a towel that wets you more the more you dry your hands. There is a sculpture about the feeling of having pneumothorax in speech therapy and plenty of tongues because in the history, stuttering was believed to be a consequence of too big or too weak tongue. I made hundreds of honeycomb pleats, that occur when the yarn is tightening – like your muscles tighten in the diaphragm. The work is divided into four color areas, black bullying and outwardness, red shame, blue therapy and yellow future.