The past cannot bathe the present
video | single-channel | 00:04:00
In 1933, with the Soviet Union still under Joseph Stalin’s reign, Aleksey Tolstoy wrote his version of Adventures of Buratino. Not long after, Finland and Russia would be locked in the Winter War, followed by the Continuation War and the Second World War. The past cannot bathe the present is informed by these two disconnected events that become interrelated through time and space chronicled in the region’s annals as well as in the collective memory.
Reposaari’s war artillery and bunkers are sentient with events of the past, further galvanising the legacy of island today. The past cannot bathe the present notes moments in the island’s history as well as the possible future ecological impact of increased human activities, namely the proposed cluster mining processes that would connect the Port of Pori to Imatrankoski at the Russian border.
The video piece reflects upon the provisional quality of an individual’s presence in the geographic landscape within the broader scope of that site’s role in the historical landscape. The work responds to this transient relationship between the individual, the site and the conditions that mark their encounter, while being situated within a shifting geo-political timeline – that which is momentous as well as mundane.
Commissioned for the 4th Pori Biennale, 2020 | Not to Sing Like a City Bird Sings |
curated by Anna Jensen & Eliisa Suvanto