A PHYSICAL RING / A MONUMENT FOR THE INVISIBLE / PHANTASMA
FILMS BY MIKA TAANILA, ANU PENNANEN, SAARA EKSTRÖM
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A PHYSICAL RING,
This ready-made film is based on anonymous footage of a physics experiment filmed in Finland in the 1940s. I discovered an abandoned film can at the Finnish Film Archive labelled with a dirty sticker saying ‘physical ring’. My attempts to find out more about the experiment led nowhere. All we see are kinetic ‘magic’ elements: what appears to be fire, magnets, heat, metal and motion.
The installation consists of swaying, unending, unsynchronized footage that can be projected on one, two or three walls simultaneously, or even on the floor. The film version has a clear beginning, middle and end.
An integral part of the piece is the specially commissioned soundtrack by Mika Vainio.
Original Title: Fysikaalinen rengas
Production Year: 2002
Author, Director, Editor, Producer: Mika Taanila
Special effects for the short film version: Jussi Eerola
Graphic Designer: Kirsi Andersson
A MONUMENT FOR THE INVISIBLE,
‘A Monument for the Invisible' investigates urban Helsinki from a blind person´s perspective. The film focuses on Ruoholahti neighbourhood and the Kamppi construction site. These areas represent new city planning, Ruoholahti being the high-tech hub of the town and the huge Kamppi construction site becoming another shopping centre made of glass. It is based on the interviews with visually impaired people. The film is realized in a close collaboration with the blind lead actress Johanna Röholm.
Original Title: Monumentti näkymättömälle
Production Year: 2003
Author, Director, Editor, Script: Anu Pennanen
Cast: Johanna Röholm
Music: Mika Vainio
Camera: Jussi Eerola
Sound: Oskari Martimo, Pelle Venetjoki
Danmark’s Akvarium, the first public Nordic aquarium, opened its doors in 1939, only a few months prior to the outbreak of World War II and Denmark’s occupation. Drawn by architect Gjerløv-Gnudsen the boldly modernistic building, situated in Charlottenlund park in Copenhagen, was regarded as controversial and challenging. In contrast to the cool exterior of the building, the fish tanks glowing in a perpetual twilight transmitted a melancholy aura of a much older world. Exotic and delicate creatures moved silently in seemingly authentic imitations of nature, decorative stages, reminding of curiosity cabinets of the 17th and 18th century. During the war the aquarium remained active, enduring as an isolated island of quiet tranquility while the world outside was burning.
Phantasma was filmed at Danmark’s Akvarium just before it closed permanently to the public in 2012. The camera transports the viewer through the dreamily delirious and dilapidated space. The halting machinery struggles to sustain this fragile world, as the seawater from the fish tanks gradually absorbs into the foundation, destroying the building beyond repair. The first Nordic aquarium connects to a historical and psychological context, where the urge to remember and the wish to forget all intertwine. Time drives organic, synthetic and mechanical elements towards joint destruction, in which they merge together to form something entirely new.
The film is accompanied by a composition by the pioneer of analogue electronic music, Mika Vainio.
Original Title: Phantasma
Author, Director, Script: Saara Ekström
Editor: Eero Tammi
Music, Sound Design: Mika Vainio
Cinematographer: Thom Vink