Visual artist and author

This is the end

Tomorrow is the last day of the exhibtion in the Third Space. Here’s how it looks like :

Updates still have to be made on the walls with the following informations :

Yesterday, Jan-Henrik and I went to set the last sculpture. He was my participant for sunday’s workshop, you can see the model and the larger figure drying on the previous post. We talked about many other things, his many involvments for instance. This figure came quite early in the discussion but we kept talking about where to set that body. First he told me about the place where he was making his own military service 50 years ago and that is still one of the main military building in town. But I was affraid of how it could be read to set this soldier, even child soldier, in a place where it’s not that unusual, plus we were worried it wouldn’t last at all. Then I talked about a spot close to the gallery as a playgroud is around the corner at the back of a church. He told me many things about the neighbourhood, and I’m very happy with the spot he picked and that I wouldn’t of without his input. The sculpture by the sea is a gift from Russia to symbolise the friendship between the two countries. Today, he sent me this :

This boy reminds me of my father. He was only 16 when he was recruited. In Finland child soldiers were called « war boys ». He was sent to serve at the Russian front. After some time he tried to escape and hid himself in the attic of his mother’s house. There the military police found him and the military court sentenced him to be executed. However, because of his young age, the sentence was lowered to lifetime imprisonment and he was sent to a prison camp for Russian prisoners of war. Then the war ended. As part of the peace agreement, all prisoners were released, my father too. It soon became clear that in the prison camp he had got tuberculosis (common in Russia) and he died a few years after my birth. That is the story of our Finnish Child Soldier standing next to the Peace Monument.

Later, I went to visit our war boy. Someone played with his riffle and put it back into his arms.

Jan-Henrik also told me what the name of street where the Third Space is means : the sniper’s street.

That’s why I choose not to build one last sculpture as no new participant showed up for the last workshop. Things appear connected, balanced this way, with this very powerfull installation as finishing point for this project in the city. Also because an older sculpture was moved to another memorial and is still rotting there :

DSC01338

And the one set the closest to the gallery was turned into a kind of memorial :

DSC01324

If you want to give your feed back about the whole thing and/or add your points to the observations collected on the maps :

you’re welcome to visit me in the gallery for the last time tomorrow from 3pm (the gallery is supposed to close at 6pm but if we still have things to discuss we’ll stay longer)

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