This is a work I proposed for the Tampere 240 celebrations planned for fall 2019. The city, turning 240 years, is celebrating with a 10 day (= 240 hours!) happening that concentrates around the rapids that in many ways have defined the city since its beginnings. Today a popular recreational area at the very heart of the city, the rapids are surrounded by pedestrian routes and parks, inviting thousands of people on its shores every day.

Winter vied by  Lauren Stevens , Wikimedia Commons

Winter vied by Lauren Stevens, Wikimedia Commons

My work approached the rapids as the witness for peoples joys and sorrows through the ages. Walking on the surrounding paths, people have argued, fought, fallen in love, thought and discussed everyday things with their fellow citizens. The work consists of a collection of these thoughts, as they have been heard by the rapids over the years - centuries, actually.

At the center of the work is the idea of the water as the keeper of our thoughts and memories, carrying them forward, faithfully and eternally.
— Maija Kovari
“ I love just being with you”   My photo illustration of the work as part of Patosilta, over Tammerkoski rapids.

“ I love just being with you” My photo illustration of the work as part of Patosilta, over Tammerkoski rapids.

The work would consist of a collection of scentences and fragments, situated as part of the landscape, in different sizes. They draw a picture of the habitants of the city often voted as the best place to live in Finland. The words would be cut out of 3 mm metal sheet, such as aluminum, strong enough to last in public space.

Below are some sentences that I had in mind, displayed here over some views of the rapids around the city center.

tampere240_kovari.jpg

Äiti on tulossa vanhaksi.

Kai se niinku periaatteessa tarkottaa, että iteki vanhenee.

“Mom is getting older. I guess, in principle, that means that me as well.”

tampere240 ehdotus kovari.jpg

Pensasmustikat on kyllä jotenkin huijausta

“I think those “highbush blueberries“ are a fraud, somehow.”

tampere240_kovari_ehdotus.jpg

Pitäiskö sun vähän levätä välillä?

“Maybe you should just rest, for a change”

tampere240_kovari

... Sanoin, et mun ei tarvi tällasta kuunnella, enkä mä oo sitä sitte enää nähny.

“So I said, “ I don’t have to listen to this”, and I haven’t seen them since.”

240tampere_ehdotus_kovari.jpg

Aahahahahhaha! Mahtavaa!

“Ahahahaha! That’s awesome!”

Mites, olisko pitäny mennä naimisiin?

“So I was thinking, what if we got married?”

tampere240_ehdotus kovari - if i was you.jpg

Kuule, jos olisin sää, olisin tehny ihan samalla lailla.

“Listen, if I were you, that’s what I would’ve done as well.”


Sacred can mean funny, vunerable, silent, loud, and everything in between.
— Maija Kovari

From mundane to profound, from common to unique, our thoughts are shared in public spaces, with our loved ones, with strangers, with our surroundings. At the center of the work is the idea of the water as the keeper of our thoughts and memories, carrying them forward, faithfully and eternally. For us, this water is sacred. And sacred can mean funny, vunerable, silent, loud, and everything in between.

Tampere 240 is a 10 day festival celebrated around Tampere day, 2019. For more information, you can follow the news at the city webpage, here.


Image credits:

The photos I have overlaid with text are from Wikimedia Commons, cropped with a filter to create a coherent mood. The sources are as follows:

I love just being with you / Mom is getting old.. / highbush blueberries are a fraud / maybe you should get some rest / i don’t have to listen to this / this is awesome!! / what if we got married? / if I were you

Thank you to all photographers!

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