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Eino Ruutsalo: Sundial (3), 1972. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum


Artist Eino Ruutsalo

, Helsinki

Eino Ruutsalo was an experimental and radical figure in the Finnish arts scene: he had a remarkable career in many artistic disciplines, including film-making, painting, sculpture, and visual poetry comprised of text, hand-written and typewritten fragments and photographs. His work was very progressive for the time in Finland, opposing the traditional nationalistic-patriotic values. At the beginning of his career was known internationally as a painter, but then moved to other mediums including filmmaking and new technology.

In the 1960’s he directed a series of experimental short films, such as Kinetic Images (Kineettisiä kuvia). His works have been said to have preceded modern music videos with their techniques. He scratched film frames with needles or painted them and used modern jazz and electronic composers to accompany his moving images. In this respect, he was also a fundamental figure in the development of the Finnish electronic music scene. During the 1960s, he also directed a series of long feature films and later in 1972, a documentary film on the architect Alvar Aalto. Later he began developing light and moving experiments by creating kinetic sculptures.

Sundial is an example of the later kinetic experimental sculptures from the 1970s. On a metal base sits a perforated and veneered and shiny steel disk. It works fully mechanically in the movement of the wind. The idea is that when the sunlight hits the disk it creates a reflection and the wind turns it, causing the reflection to move from one place to another.

The sculpture is made of rust-proof steel and measures 54 x 70cm. It belongs to the collections of the Didrichsen Art Museum.

See also: Viestejä tuntemattomilta/Sculptures of/from the Unknown.

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