Roi Vaara /Helsiniki
From What Kind of Ground?
I was invited for
a week to come to realize an interactive performance/action in a public place
in Gropiusstadt in August 2003. The performance was not going to be announced.
The first days I spent strolling in the area wondering what could I do.
It was exceptionally warm, 30-34°C at that time and the bath was crowded by the people. There are greens and big trees in the Gropiusstadt area. A few people camp on the greens and walk on walking streets. In the middle of greens you may not necessarily feel being surrounded by high buildings and thousands of inhabitants.
Gropiusstadt reminds me of Tapiola, a so called "garden city Tapiola" near Helsinki where I lived some years in the 70s. Nowadays when I go there, I feel the character of the town has changed a lot. More houses and a huge shopping centre has been erected and taken place of natural milieu. I thought something similar might have happened in Gropiusstadt as well.
One hundred years ago, when cities started to grow, there were plans to construct urban milieu with natural areas: greens, trees, small farms and gardens. Nowadays we hardly can find cities really with such a city planning. There seems to be no room for nature in the cities.
Digging a hole in the greens to put the head inside, "to look around"
and "to wonder (if you wish) from what kind of ground do such phenomena
like Gropiusstadt as an example grow up". Then filling the hole with earth
and grass on top and walk away as if nothing had happened. Unfortunately I couldn't
realize the project as I had planned. The building company GEHAG (which is in
fact behind this 'pilot project Gropiusstadt') cancelled my work. So, I just
demonstrated the idea once for a camera.