Site-specific sound installation, 2007
Village church of Teijo, Salo region, Finland
Exhibited as part of Taiteen Tiet 1.6.2007 – 31.8.2007 daily 12 am – 6 pm.

About the work
As one climbs uphill to the churchyard, one begins to realize that there are sounds in the air: seagulls, wind, sound of the waves. They seem to come from the direction of the church. The sounds can first be left unnoticed, since they mix with the natural sound environment.

Background story
The church of Teijo, a small old factory town by the coast of southwest Finland, is located on top of a small hill. It was built in 1830 by Robert Bremer, a local patron, who strongly believed that an apocalyptic deluge would come one day – and actually, he had forecasted the day, reading the information from the positions of constellations. When his calculations failed, he decided to build the church as an honour to his unpredictable and merciful God, though even then, he felt it was best to build it on the highest spot of the region.

As one reaches the yard of the church it becomes evident that the sounds come from the church. The church is closed and the origin of the sounds is not visible. One can hear the ocean but not see it. This creates an illusion: it sounds as if the church itself would either produce or hide within it the source of the sound, creating a ghostly and dreamy, surreal atmosphere in which it is easy to imagine that the ocean is flooding inside the church building.

Image: Hannu Paunila

Documentation footage: