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The Idiot Gardener is a fool character and a series of performances that research and embody different gardens and forests. The Idiot Gardener can be seen as “a spirit of the forest”, a human personification that grew out of the more-than-human landscape. The goal of various versions of the Idiot Gardener performances is to illustrate how green spaces shape the physicality and behavior of the character, resulting in different kinds of performances. Through the series, Jantunen aims to reveal how the way we use our bodies is shaped by the environments we inhabit, and how a variety of spaces create a plurality of bodily shapes. Do we inhabit spaces or do they inhabit us?

In The Idiot Gardener the “gardener” stands for trying one's best and the will and hope towards the miracle of growth. The “Idiot” reflects everything where you fail, you could try better, or what you don't understand at all. The fool character enables movement between these two, the acceptance, laughing at oneself and others.

So far the work is supported by Kasvinaika -festival in collaboration with Mustarinda, Pengerkatu 7 työhuone, Esitysteltta, Saaren Kartano residency, and beautiful garden parties at friends' houses.  


September – October 2024 - Saaren Kartano residency, Mynämäki

August 2023 - The Idiot Gardener at Esitysteltta, Helsinki

August 2023 - The Idiot Gardener at Alust -festival, Helsinki

June 2023 - The Idiot Gardener and Rock at Pengerkatu 7 Työhuone, Helsinki

August 2022 Elo/Au at Kasvinaika -festival at Mustarinda, Kainuu

P.s During 2024 Idiot Gardener expanded into textiles. "The Idiot Gardener's Year" is a year-long project during which Jantunen will create one ryijy artwork each month. The pieces are inspired by small observations related to plants and Karel Capek's book The Gardener's Year (1926). You can follow the process here. 

Pictures - in blue outfit by Lydia Touliatou, in pink outfit by Nina Wilenius and in the garden by Ilmari Paananen

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