On April 7, just after I walked through Ghent in my original soft armour, I wrote Tattoo Joris this text on my Facebook page. Today, May 6, Joris gave me the words I wanted.

(April 7) 

well, this is what i do
i find stories
although usually they find me
i look for the dots and connect them
it is easy
you just wait and keep your eyes open

once upon a time i bought myself a three piece walking suit
i called it my soft armour
i wore it for 108 days
it protected me
i collected stories in it
i embroidered them on the inside
and carried them around outside
day and night

one day, when i was on the road
i realised i didn’t need my suit anymore
because i already had a soft armour
an old one
i tried it on, it fitted well
when i walked the streets naked all stories came together

the next day i left on a train
going home
it was a complicated journey
detours and delays
dragging suitcases up steep stairs
changing trains forever

just before i arrived where i was heading
in the last train to a big city
i looked up and saw joris
he was covered in stories
tattooed all over his body

i asked him where i could find a good tattoo artist
he said i had found him
he gave me his card
and asked me to write him what i wanted

so i’m writing

i want words

i want a soft armour forever


I MADE my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world's eyes
As though they'd wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there's more enterprise
In walking naked.

A coat, William Butler Yeats


suit thoughts

(the first day)
Thoreau and Abramovic say the same thing
we conquer the world by conquering ourselves

I decided as an artist, or as a human being, I needed an armour
a soft one
one to gather stories in and share them with the outside world

a clumsy harness like Don Quixote’s
a ragged and torn one, like Thoreau’s
an anonymous one, like the hackers’ headless suit
a symbolic one, like Beuys’
a suit like in the old days, for everyday use
a suit like businessmen wear, to impress
a suit to be similar, a suit to be different
all in one
a soft armour

i wore it 108 days
before i realised I had forgotten I already had one
a soft armour

i tried it on today
it fitted well