The Face of the City is both recycled and something completely new
One of Lux Helsinki’s partners this year is public broadcaster Yle, which is presenting the installation “The Face of the City” at the Olympic Stadium. The experimental video installation projected on the façade of the Sports Museum of Finland and the tower on the side of the Olympic Stadium is the final part of the acclaimed series of the same name.
The Face of the City is the story of two people living in the big city in different periods who are prisoners of the expectations and roles of their own time. Combining both the true and the imaginary, as well as the present and the past, the installation paints a picture of a modern and surreal metropolis. The installation places on a pedestal long-forgotten Finnish silent films and music performed by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in a completely new form and in a wide-open outdoor space.
Premiering at Lux Helsinki in January, the installation originated from an idea by Mauri Ahola to project a video on the wall of a public building. At the suggestion of producer Katri Henriksson, the plan was combined with the existing series The Face of the City, and Teemu Kokkonen then came up with numerous visual visions over long days at his desk.
The video projection required its own unique solutions, as it includes three different surfaces, one of which is the tower on the side of the Olympic Stadium.
“The central idea was to create a dialogue of images and an interesting rhythm. The narrative had to be constructed in such a way that it could be followed on different surfaces. We had to consider how the nature of the building changes through illusions that utilise all of its surfaces,” Kokkonen explains.
It was important to consider the audience’s point of view throughout the design process.
“It has been both an opportunity and a challenge to consider how the viewer’s gaze moves between different surfaces. What kind of emotional experience does this movement create by connecting and drawing attention to different motifs?” Ahola ponders.
The historical layers and connection between the past and the present are strongly visible not only in the theme of the work, but also in the working methods of its creators. New life has been breathed into old materials, while the creative team was able to benefit from new ways of doing things.
“It is really great to be able to refine and develop new content from existing material. The Face of the City represents both recycled material and something completely new. It has given us the opportunity to use our creative skills and learn new things,” says executive producer Marja Mäki-Reinikka together with producer Katri Henriksson.
Yle: Mauri Ahola – Teemu Kokkonen – The Face of the City
Sound design: Anssi Tamminen
Music: Aarre Merikanto: Pan, Ernest Pingoud: The Face of the City
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hannu Lintu
Lloyd Libiso, street poet
Façade of the Sports Museum of Finland
A city is about colours, energy, networks, shapes, characters and a beat. The Face of the City is an experimental work that combines the real with the imagined, the present with the past. The installation’s modern and surreal metropolis is made up of the reality that surrounds us – uncertainty, imbalance and the inexplicable.
Long-forgotten Finnish silent films and music performed by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra are given a new form and a wide-open outdoor space as a stage. The installation can be seen on the façade of the Sports Museum of Finland and the tower on the side of the Olympic Stadium.
The installation has been inspired by the diverse visual catalogue and soundscape of the city, as well as by Finnish art music of the modernist period. Produced by Finnish public broadcaster Yle, the installation is the final part of a series of the same name that also includes a two-part TV documentary and a VR work.
Screenplay, direction and visual design: Mauri Ahola, Teemu Kokkonen
Digital artist and technical implementation: Teemu Kokkonen
Camerawork: Teemu Kokkonen, Raimo Uunila
Sound design and implementation: Anssi Tamminen
Music: Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hannu Lintu
Lloyd Libiso, street poet
Artistic and technical consultation: Kirsi Kukkurainen, Marcus Lönnqvist, Hannu Hellsten
Production manager: Karita Korolainen
Producer: Katri Henriksson
Executive director: Marja Mäki-Reinikka
Yle Events, Yle Creative Content and Media
Note: Access to the installation along the street “Paavo Nurmen tie” and exit clockwise around the Olympic Stadium towards Pohjoinen Stadiontie.