Saturday, November 16, 2013

Suomen sähköisin kunta / The Most Electrified Town in Finland

Photo: Kiasma.
 FI 2012. A three-channel video installation. Screening format: digital files. Original format: 16 mm, video - 3 x 1,1,77 - colour & b&w - no dialogue - 15 min - loop
    D: Mika Taanila. DP: Jussi Eerola. S design: Olli Huhtanen. M: Pan sonic. P: Kinotar / Lasse Saarinen. Source: Kiasma Collections.
    Non-stop three-screen presentation at Kiasma's Mika Taanila: Time Machines exhibition,16 Nov 2013.

"The small town of Eurajoki on the west coast of Finland is constructing what is touted as the world's most powerful nuclear reactor, Olkiluoto 3. There are already two older reactors in Eurajoki. Construction of the third reactor began in 2005. It was supposed to be up and running four years ago, but the official estimated opening date is in three years - at the earliest."

"Mika Taanila and Jussi Eerola have been documenting the project since its inception. The piece juxtaposes construction scenes with images of the changing rural landscape and experts performing radiation measurements. The title is the town's former slogan. The installation is based on Return of the Atom, a documentary feature by Mika Taanila and Jussi Eerola (work in progress)." (From the Kiasma exhibition presentation.)

Based on the work-in-progress by Mika Taanila and Jussi Eerola on the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reaction projects during 2004-2012 the installation has an epic quality in its time-lapse cinematography covering the huge construction site during a number of years. There is also an objective quality in the movie. We are left to reflect ourselves on the overwhelming implications of nuclear energy. The approach is cool and distanced but never indifferent. Nature is present in the wintry footage. Technology is introduced in its most refined and advanced state. The colour world is on the glacial side. The experience is powerful while all obvious emphases are avoided.

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