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Taisto Martiskainen: Crescendo / A Memorial to those who fell in the 1918, 1970. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum / Teija Mononen

Crescendo (Vuoden 1918 Kansalaissodan uhrien muistomerkki)/ A Memorial to those who fell in the 1918

Artist Taisto Martiskainen

, Helsinki

Taisto Martiskainen’s (1943-1982) entry ‘Crescendo’ won the 1968 competition for a memorial to victims of the Civil War. The name ‘Crescendo’ is a musical term and means increasing in volume. This abstract work consists of wave-like folds from which human heads jut out, as if trying to free themselves from the prison of the surrounding heavy form. As the figures try to release themselves their faces twist in agony. Individual characteristics have vanished almost completely, and a grim monotony creates a nightmarish atmosphere. The expressionistic forms and surrealistically abstract representation of suffering create a very strong feeling.

The memorial verses written by the poets Maiju Lassila, Elmer Diktonius and Elvi Sinervo are inscribed in the work. It also contains a passage of the ‘Internationale’ and, on the front side, the text “In memory of the men and women who fought, fell and perished in prison camps for the Reds”, and, on the back, the text “When all roads end it is time to think”.

The bronze sculpture was unveiled in 1970. The pedestal is made of red granite. The work of art belongs to the collection of HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

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