Variables is a three-work project inspired by and located on Kuninkaansaari island, and curated by Riikka Thitz. Read the curator’s text and descriptions of the works below.
I try to sense my movements on a scale relative to my body.* The ferry that takes me to Kuninkaansaari moves only a fraction of a distance in comparison to the Earth’s rotation on its axis as it orbits around the Sun. Once I’m on the island, I walk on a surface that was formed during the Paleoproterozoic Era, 2 500 to 1 600 million years ago, as is the case with a majority of the Finnish bedrock. Kuninkaansaari rose from the Littorina Sea – a geological brackish water stage of the Baltic Sea – about 8 000 to 4 000 years ago, following the most recent Ice Age. It continues to do so as I stand here. In Helsinki, land uplift totals 40 centimetres per century.
Some tens of thousands of years from now, the Ice Age will return, covering Fennoscandia with a slab of ice two kilometers thick, forcing the bedrock to sink. The sea levels proceed to ebb and flow and the tectonic plates continue their eternal dance. While touching the rocky surface of the island I can try to grasp the immensity of deep time: the arc of non-human history that shaped the world as I perceive it.
What kinds of temporalities do these immense rhythms of the geological masses, impossible to perceive in the lifespan of a single human, propose? How to allow my body to surrender to a landscape that (to paraphrase dramatist Heiner Müller) is looking forward to the gradual disappearance of the human as a species?
*Thought experiment inspired by Doreen Massey.
Ilmari Paananen: Time of the Landscape
I see something, perhaps congested matter, perhaps signs of something that took place before me.
In the performance we investigate how a heap of stones turns into culture and culture into a stone heap. The performance takes place on a treasure beach. A stone stack will be built according to the year 1895 decree of J. Sjölin, the chief director of National Land Survey.
Concept and performance: Ilmari Paananen
Performances: Sat 22.8. at 15:30 and Sun 23.8. at 15:30. Note! Additional showtime Sun 13.9. at 13.15.
Duration: approximately 1 hour
Location: 60°07’56.1″N 25°01’03.1″E, see location on map
Sign up for the performance in advance. Maximum number of participants is 20.
Other information: The workshop is not accessible. The performance takes place outdoors. Please wear sturdy shoes and windproof clothing.
Emil Santtu Uuttu: View
A short essay on the effect of time on landscape and Finnish written language.
Suvi Tuominen: “…with a blank, a root, a shovel and rust.”
No standing still, no landscape, but in between times. Space bending in perception, a barrel breaking down with each touch, the pasts erupt, and the pressure of the future is felt on bulletin boards. With a blank, a root, a shovel and rust I bend the time of performance and gaze at Kuninkaansaari.
Concept and performance: Suvi Tuominen
Curator: Riikka Thitz
Performances: Fri 21.8., Fri 28.8., Fri 11.9. and Fri 18.9.2020 at 17:00 (weather permitting).
Duration: 40–50 minutes
Rallying point for the audience: The connecting bridge between Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari, on the Kuninkaansaari side. The audience will move together to the performance location.
Sign up for the performance in advance.
Other information: The performances are not accessible. The performances take place outdoors. Please wear sturdy shoes and windproof clothing.
The project is part of the Island of Relations exhibition and Uniarts Helsinki’s Saari 2020 (Island 2020) programme on Kuninkaansaari island.
Changes may apply.