Silta/Bridge, environmental art installation, 2007

Helsinki, Kannelmäki, 2007

The works constituting the Silta [Bridge] environmental installation are two-dimensional and thin on purpose. They are constructed reminiscences of Vyborg, a city Finland lost in the war; they are icons, like pages of newspaper or art book, with no historical icing on them. These sculptures do not necessarily require any historical depth; they can be viewed as “just” images or “just” a playground built for children. Depending on the viewer, they carry the possibility of being regarded as historical relics. The third dimension emerges from history and memory.

The visual idea of the forever lost, cherished Karelian birch trees, with the cuckoo singing ever after, cannot be seen as private property of Finns and Karelians. It is a cliché with an icing sickeningly sweet from all those repetitions. A cliché stunts and terminates the rich complexity of cultural history rather than inspires to analyze memories.

A piece of free-growing nature in the background was intentionally left intact. This is an important part of my visual and conceptual idea. The birch trees growing freely among the works form a background, a sort of frame. Another significant point is how the sculptures can be accessed and found: some of them are easy to get to, some are more or less hidden in the untamed landscape. They invite passers-by to walk further and, thus, keep the old paths in the forest in constant use and open for walking. Paths are proofs of human presence, signs in the guest book of nature.

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