1) 5 -channel video installation, mute, each loop duration 1 – 2 min, 8 mm film to HD-video (2006)
2) audio text, duration 20 min / a handout text (2006)
About the work
This installation consists of two individual works exhibited simultaneously. The works are an audio text entitled A letter to my Father and a 5 -channel video installation Stoneforest. The text has also available as handouts in the exhibition venues.
Download a shortened version of the text here (pdf-file): A letter to my father audio text
Both of the works are combining the concept of loss with playfulness, mystery and fantasy of childhood experiences. They are personal in their tone, yet keeping parts of their content vague and dreamy. The text in A letter to my father is dedicated to my father, who died when I was a newborn baby. It describes events from my childhood including my father’s death and its aftermath – in other words things beyond the reach of my actual memory.
With the film material I am approaching the recollection of an atmosphere that is formed around the experience of absence, a state of mind that also can function as a platform, a point of beginning. When planning the imagery I was memorizing this certain mood, familiar to me from my early childhood, when days were long, the light was bright and contrasts sharp, and the direction of my life was yet ambiguous. Passing scenes from the city, fields and wastelands have been recorded on the film. Summer parties with faces of people not quite recognizable, shadows, rocks, cracks on city walls. Some of the imagery has a nostalgic tone, emphasized by the usage and the quality of 8mm film. However, the imagery in its vagueness also indicates that the memories are out of reach or indistinct – just as the textual material in the audio text does.
The work has been divided onto five channels running with slightly different loop lengths. This generates a panorama view with a constantly changing landscape stretched on five monitors.
Another aspect of the film material in Stoneforest is that I perform in it as two similar looking characters, the fictional identical twins depicted also in the photograph A&B. This is a reference to A letter to my father where I describe: I play with my imaginative friend, my look-alike. She is just like me. We never speak, we don’t need to. She knows what I think. In fact many of the images and the actions of these fictional characters refer to the text and thus link the works together.
Stoneforest and A letter to my father – Excerpt
Cinematography: Marja Viitahuhta and Taneli Viitahuhta
Written, directed, edited, produced and acted by Marja Viitahuhta