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Photo © Maija Toivanen / HAM / Helsinki Biennial
`Eons and instants´


Stones, soundless cracking agent, rock dust, spodumene, cobalt (CoO & CoAlZn), copper carbonate, zinc acetate,  brass, steel, plastic, wood

The work was commissioned by HAM / Helsinki Biennial

Curated by Pirkko Siitari & Taru Tappola

Photo 1, 3, 4, 6, 7,  8, 9, 10, 11 ©Maija Toivanen/HAM/Helsinki Biennial 

   The performative installation was created in response to the history and present of the island of Vallisaari and especially the former gunpowder cellar in Alexander Battery, where the installation was exhibited.  The notion of `maa´ (`country, land, earth, world, ground, soil, terra´ in Finnish) inspired associations of defending what's valuable; historically the country and a certain area of land, and today, the material earth itself as a stage and mineral provider for all the living entities on its rocky surface.

   The stones for the installation were collected from the island shores taking into consideration that they had inhabited the spot only shortly.  After the loading of the snail dynamite into  the rocks, the slow process of splitting was taking from one day to three months depending on the rock size,  mineral consistence, humidity and temperature.  The forces working within a rock became evident at the point when the pressure would draw a fine line of fracture around itDepending on the rock shape in relation to the gravity pull on it, the two halves would either pop apart suddenly or the snail dynamite would push them apart slowly. Often, in the after-pressure of the event, one of the halves would still split in half. Some of the rocks had some minerals loaded in them as well. They would either form fluid patterns with the snail dynamite or sprinkle around in the explosive event.

   The loading of the splitting mortar was carried out by the HAM museum conservators, the hidden forces of the biennial event. The brass and steel tables that reflected the surrounding room served as event platforms. Different found sticks served as warning signs or as marking of something going on. One corner of the room was dedicated for the rocks waiting for their momentum and another for the already split ones. 

   After the biennial the rocks were returned back to where they were found.

Interview HB

Eons and Instants_Helsinki Biennial
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Helsinki Biennial, Eons and Instants, detail of the installation
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Helsinki Biennial_21_Palosaari.jpg
detail installation view_Eons and Instants.jpg
Helsinki Biennial_installation_Sari Palosaari
Stone storage of Eons and Instants installation in Helsinki Biennial 2021
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temporal events_Eons and Instants installation.jpg
rock,snail dynamite, copper carbonate on brass_detail of installation Eons and Instants.jpg
details of temporal events in Eons and Instants.jpg
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rock, snail dynamite, cobalt (CoO & CoAlZn).jpg
crack_rock splitting.jpg
detail_rock, soundless cracking agent, cobalt .jpg
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rock storage_performative installations_Helsinki Biennial.jpg
detail of installation Eons and Instants.jpg
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