Temporary artwork to exhibit the local history of Kalasatama
Two temporary works of public art will be completed in Kalasatama in Helsinki. Both works are bound to their location, but take different approaches to the micro history and local culture of Kalasatama and its adjacent areas. Pasi Rauhala’s Flamigos breathes life into the flamboyance of flamingos that once lived in Korkeasaari Zoo, and Tatu Tuominen’s Light Signal from the Shore examines the colourful history of the local fishing community. The works will be revealed on location on Thursday 10 October 6–7.30 pm starting with Flamigos. The artists will be present at the event. Author Eero Haapanen will also give a speech on Valomerkki rannalta.
Pasi Rauhala’s (b. 1978) work Flamigos will take over both the columns below Kulosaari bridge and the wasteland along Capellan puistotie. The name of the work is a combination of the words flamingos and amigos (Spanish for friends). The work refers to the flamboyance of flamingos that used to live in Korkeasaari Zoo just across from Kalasatama. In 2010, a fox got into the zoo and mauled two flamingos. The rest of the birds died of shock. Bridge columns decorated with a flamboyance of moving flamingos with the help of steel elements and programmed lights make up the fixed part of the work. The other part is virtual, and it can be seen using the free-of-charge augmented reality (AR) application Arilyn on a smartphone. The application will display animated flamingos on the wasteland under the bridge.
Tatu Tuominen’s (b. 1975) two-part work Light Signal from the Shore examines the local history of Kalasatama and adjacent areas from the point of view of seafaring and everyday life on the outskirts of town. The first part of the work is a light work that can be seen at the top windows of housing company Kalasataman Fiskari by those walking around in the Sompasaari canal area. The programmed light work will light up every twenty minutes in the evenings between 7 and 10 pm until the end of February 2020. The second part of the work consists of the artist distributing the Sörkan rysäkeisarit – kalastajia, ajureita ja salakuljettajia (Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2013) non-fiction book by Eero Haapanen to the new flats completed in Sompasaari during the temporary light work. The book discusses the eventful life of the Karlsson fishing family in Vanhankaupunginlahti bay and elsewhere in Helsinki from the late 19th century to the 1960s. The work covers the likes of local moonshine smuggling during the prohibition and the criminal lifestyles born around it. The book also reveals how Helsinki and the everyday lives of its residents have changed during the past hundred years.
Kalasatama, which is now being developed, will be receiving plenty of new public art works in the coming years. Flamigos and Light Signal from the Shore are the first temporary artworks that have been implemented in cooperation between the City of Helsinki Executive Office, the Urban Environment Division and HAM Helsinki Art Museum. Permanent works of art realised in Kalasatama earlier are Early One Morning, Eternity Sculpture (2019) by Jacob Dahlgren, Compass and Stars (2018) by Riikka Puronen, Siberian Jay (2016) by Villu Jaanisoo and Veteen piirretty viiva (2014) by Timo Heino. In addition to works from the HAM collection, the area is also home to Taidepenkit (2019) by Marjukka Korhonen. The works are part of the Kalasatama environmental art project, which facilitates the realisation of temporary and permanent art works as well as events. The environmental art project is funded by a floor square metre-based fee charged to contractors in the area.