The environmental piece of art simulates the spiritual view of an urbanized human. It explores human’s relation to the urban environment and the role of nature within it. At the same time, the artwork constructs a dialog between the manmade environment and Olavi Lanu’s non-verbal sculpture merging with nature.
The concrete gate of the art piece connects to the surrounding city structure and functions as a separating element between different spaces. The presence of nature in this piece is far more subtle but nevertheless, total. It is evident in the slow changing and breakdown of its structure. The role of human is found in the middle of these two elements: where order and entropy meet.
The Red Facade (Portrait of Edward James)
The stonewall-like work of art made of bricks has randomly and associatively placed openings. The massive size, prominent lay and improvised exterior detach it from its surroundings placing it for the citizens´ to examine.
Empirically, the work strives for becoming a gateway into the spectator’s imagination and questioning our presumptions about the significance of constructed surroundings. The surroundings we experience is our subjective state of mind, and it constantly changes. Reality is how we define it. The motive of the work is to adduce this power.
Yellow Hills ponders on the relationship between the nature and the experiences created by men. Is it possible to synthesize nature experience with the help of artificial morphology? How is the experience different, what kind of thoughts and feelings does it evoke in the observer? How does it feel? The artwork’s geologic formation, highlighted and artificial, becomes the landmark of the park; its physical presence is hard not to notice. Empirically it strives for raising an emotion from the artificial nature experience, the place and its uniqueness.
After having roamed the city for days it had become clear to him that there was no other alternative. Also, the map indicated that this would be the best place for the crossing. The grey concrete shaft was narrow enough and the place peaceful during nighttime.
As such, building the bridge was no problem to him. It would be easy to bring the lumber to the site, and he was experienced in building various structures when needed. He was more concerned about the trace he was to leave. It wouldn’t take long for someone to notice the bridge and him having crossed it. Somebody would start asking questions. Are there tiers in the city of which all inhabitants are not aware?
The case was not quite the same as with the graffiti they earlier had left in the surroundings. This time he definitely didn’t want to become detected.
Love, Love (Tunnel of Love)
The heart is one of the most widely-used semiotic symbols in the world. It is a universal representation of love, and the heart is often seen as the place where the soul lives. In art, the heart in its conventional and direct emotionality is often linked to a kitsch aesthetic.
In this piece, the familiar symbol is repeated hundreds of thousands of times. The mural features so many hearts that they form a sea of symbols for the viewer to dive in. What does this do to the conceptual meanings of the symbols and the emotions that they convey? The hearts are patterns that emerge from the surface. They form countless networks that serve as paths from one space to another and open up opportunities for new interpretations. In this representation, love no longer has a single object and, instead, begins to take new forms all around us. The experiential piece aims to make people see past the mundane day-to-day meanings and plunge freely into overwhelming sea of hearts.
A large object rests on top of a shallow black megalith. The object has a soft shape, perhaps of the size of a large roundish stone. It is difficult to say whether it touches the megalith’s surface or hovers slightly above. The dark megalith surface slightly trembles. The object starts slowly descending toward the surface. Eyes cannot detect the movement, but one can sense it as a tension. The megalith’s surface yields under the object, tightening like a fabric. The soft shape is now half sunk inside the megalith, but the black surface does not yet give in. It is strained to the extreme rendering an impression the surface may rupture any moment and enfold the object.
Our every touch leaves a mark on the surface of reality, constantly shaping it in a new way. This change has no direction and is independent from our structure of values. With this continuous movement nothing will be restored. The fragments no longer find old conformation but become new objects. Within this reality every change we make presumes relinquishing the previous composition. The magazines will disappear from the Töölönlahti Bay only leaving behind a mere hint that something meaningful once existed here; in some other time and place. Something we have decided to let go.
Only an open tile surface now replaces the demolished ruins. However, this layer of time universe, free from physical structures, is not empty: the meanings of the old surroundings are still present. Their masses force the surface alive and yield. A cultural condensate is born on the tile surface. The distortion of space and time forms a visible dint in the structure of reality.
The current reality in central Pasila is fully constructed by human. Nature has been subjected to erupt only from the spesific planting areas and trees are set in straight lines. The trend is that the environment is getting more and more man-made. Perhaps we have built a neat and pleasant neighborhood for the residents, but does it reflect any true elements of the nature? When you stand between accurately lined up city blocks, it is almost impossible to imagine that once here use to be a lake and dence forest.
Ecology Stone is a huge, balance-seeking, concrete boulder, which is placed above the entrance of a new shopping mall in central Pasila. On top of the boulder is a garden plot, where plants can grow and slowly take over the surface of the boulder. Basis for this artwork is to raise a question about relationship between nature and human beings. Experientially Ecology Stone produces a feeling of unstability; a sensitive balance.
Confluence of Information
Series of surface gravity waves are not generated by the local winds, instead by distant weather systems, where wind blows for a duration of time over a fetch of water. These waves are called swells. When swells from different sources collide, they create a composition of waves - a wave field.
Artwork consist of vertical, glued laminated timber planks that are sawn into the form of a wave. Sequence of these planks creates a wavy relief grille, which resembles the surface of the sea. This composition of waves represents accummulation of information in collective interaction. As a result of a collaborative communication, individual signals constitute a collective intelligence, an emergence, that exceeds the limits of an individual person.
A Place of an Island (Oktagon)
The geographical history of Sompasaari island works as a context for this public sculpture. Another conceptual element is a wooden observation tower, designed by C. L.Engel, which was located on the island. Both of these elements are now long gone. The idea of this sculpture is to immerse the observer to the experience of absence of the place. We created an empty island-shaped black void and placed a miniature version of the destroyed observation tower on it. The island and the tower are scaled in a ratio 1:6,666… Location of the sculpture is the original location of the Sompasaari island. Archipelago around the location acts as a background for the sculpture and it also reflects from the polished surface of the black void. The surface reflectivity works as Claude glass mirror, adding a picturesque aesthetic of a subtle gradation of tones to the reflection.
Collaborators: Aleksi Kraama
An interpretation of the results of a zero planning option regarding the issues emerging through excessive immigration
How to combine the eternal movement of crowds with the boundaries established alongside the modern nation state? Will the cultures clash or live side by side? Can a neighbourhood full of components from different worlds produce diverse yet identifiable habitat. When politics fails, what remains are the simple needs, actions and humanity. The contribution of Helsinki Kasbah is to explore possibilities in forms of dystopia and utopia. Negative follows neglecting. Positive needs cherishing and good will follow.
Collaborators: Harri Ahokas, Tomi Laine, Pia Rautiainen, Nikolai Rautio & Matias Saresvuo
Tapiola Metro Station Pressure Equalization Tower
Artwork made out of water-cut corten steel plates. The plates are mounted around Tapiola Metro Station’s pressure equalization tower; they function as its facade. Water-cut holes in the panels let air pass through the facade. Artistic idea was to create an artifical foliage of a tree. A cubical, rusted plant that connects to a huge, man-made root that runs underground.
Collaborators: APRT Architects
Magic Lantern is an artwork for expressing emotions and thougts. It is made out of thin, translucent, fiber-optic concrete elements. During daytime, the Lantern is a gray concrete structure that does not reveal its inner life. But at night, four video projectors inside the Lantern turn on and create a projection on the facades of the artwork. In the darkness, the Magic Lantern tells a story of unknown ladscapes. It opens a door to the viewers to dreams and subconscious.
Small, wooden extension of Helsinki Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. Combination of adjacent log walls extend museum’s exhibition spaces outside of the building and create a new kind of dialogue with Steven Holl’s unique architecture. Temporary extension works also as a meeting place and as a venue for happenings. The surface of logs is burned, which gives it a dark texture and makes the log fire retardant as well as resistant to rot, insects and decay. Walls are supported with steel rods and corners executed with short corner joints.
The House of the Double Axe
"The idea of a house built so that people could become lost in it is perhaps more unusual than that of a man with a bull’s head, but both ideas go well together and the image of the labyrinth fits with the image of the Minotaur. It is equally fitting that in the centre of a monstrous house there be a monstrous inhabitant."
The Book of Imaginary Beings, Jorge Luis Borges
This is a spatial art concept, where everyday spaces are shown without their actual function and places out of their regular context. Alienated spaces pull viewer out from their comfort zone and make them become self-conscious about their relationship between the surroundings. When the purpose of our everyday setting has disappeared, spaces start to transform into non-self-explanatory, obscure, dysfunctional mess. There are no more rules or reasons how the things should be: spatiality rises back at the center of attention when the functionality is gone.
Enigma of Arrival
Most of the townsfolk and travellers feel the presence and tranquility of these vegetation-covered monoliths. But not everyone shares the same opinion; some say that only crows and jackdaws care to stay close to these mossy towers.
In this artwork consept two corten steel ventilation chimneys are partly covered with diverse vegetation. These chimneys are part of a motorway tunnel which under the city of Tampere. In addition to the aesthetic value of vegetation, it holds symbolic, pragmatic, and ecological importance. New kind of green landscaping in infrastructure creates a positive image about values of the city; green towers keep the air clean, produce oxygen and work as a nesting place for birds.
Mobile Accommodation Unit
Accommodation in the Container Unit is arranged in japanese-style sleeping capsules. The frame of the unit is a standard-sized ISO-container. It enables mobility on ground, water and air and thus this accommodation can be located to almost any place where needed. In addition, the Container Unit does not require any municipal infrastructure, only a flat surface is sufficient. Other types of housing cannot offer such quality and efficient use of space as the Container Unit, which contain 18 cozy sleeping capsules.
Collaborators: Jaakko Leinonen