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Kimmo Kaivanto: Blue Line, 1990. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum

Blue Line

Artist Kimmo Kaivanto

, Helsinki

Blue Line is a blue stone slab work decorating the platforms at Helsinki main railway station. The line begins at the doors of the railway building and ends on the train platform.

Occasional slabs, or poetic inscriptions, read: “Tampere-talo Sininen suora Länsi-itä 157,3 km”, “Napapiiri 700,9 km”, “Kaaresuvanto 918,1 km”, “Jäämeri 1123,1 km”, “Huippuvuoret 1990 km”. (which indicate the distance to other destinations in Finland, including the continuation of ‘Blue Line’ in the city of Tampere). On either side of the blue line are slabes which read “East” and “West”, respectively, in five languages.

Blue Line continues in Tampere, in Tampere House at the conference centre, where it plays a dominant role in the space. Through this the passer-by is taken to the artist’s home town. The work connects two cities significant to the artist, and continues as a conceptual work all the way to Spitzbergen (Norway).

“I wish it would be possible to paint a distant line so mind-blowing that the viewer would faint on the spot whilst gazing at it”, Kaivanto sometimes dreamed. Blue Line can been interpreted as Kaivanto’s sketched line connecting Helsinki city centre with the Tampere House and Spitzbergen. At Helsinki railway station passers-by, lost in their thoughts, see the line as it continues to some kind of distance point. The artist hopes that this sensation will bring about a kind of vertigo to the senses.For Kaivanto, the use of ultramarine blue, ambiguity and multi-interpretable works are typical. Also the artist’s hallmark in material and visual language are clearly perceivable in this work.

The work doesn’t belong to the collections of the HAM Helsinki Art Museum.

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