Tapio Wirkkala: Monument Saivaara, 1978. Finnish Lapland

Foto MW. TWRB Photo Archive
Photo MW. TWRB Photo Archive

The Latin-American Institute of Finland presents today on Tuesday, the 6th of October in Madrid the exhibition Tapio Wirkkala: Monumento Saivaara, 1978. Finnish Lapland. There treats itself about the sample of an artistic project concerning this one little known but very significant work Land Art that never managed to be constructed.

The Monument Saivaara is a Tapio Wirkkala´s work (1915-85), he personification of the modern Finnish design. The objects and Wirkkala’s artistic works are included in many of the most important museums and collections of art of the whole world. He was an extraordinary, versatile and prolific designer and artist for which the materials, uses or you discipline they never supposed a constraint. The scale of his works spreads from the meticulous design of postal stamps up to the project power of Terrestrial Art as the one that now appears.

The project was designed in 1978 for the hill Saivaara as honoring to the president at the time of Finland, Urho Kaleva Kekkonen (1900-86). There would treat itself about an almost invisible straight way of orientation this one – west formed across the alignment of stones gathered from the skirt of hill to guide the visitors up to his beak without damaging the nature of the environment. Nevertheless, the deep ignorance of the work provoked an unjustified controversy in the public Finnish debate that he led to the cancellation of the monument. In this respect, the aim of this exhibition is to show what really Wirkkala was claiming with the Brief Saivaara.

The exhibition is formed by original and unpublished material of which is outlined the model that reconstructs with loyalty Wirkkala’s project. The model recreates this way an absolutely pioneering work in Finland and contemporary of the most ultramodern works of the American Land Art. Nevertheless, the model is scarcely a small part of the exhibition that it is possible to see from October 6 to November 30, which includes the whole resultant material of the investigation, as for example unpublished material produced by Wirkkala for the development of the brief (photographies, drawings, notes …) and that has allowed to recreate at present the project across a new documentation produced by the architects Márcia Nascimento y Nuno Coast for the exhibition.

The exhibition re-saw like that of special importance in the measure in which the exposed material will allow a more physical approximation Wirkkala’s idea for the Brief Saivaara. It will make possible a deeper comprehension of the functional, constructive and artistic aspects of the monument that have never been discussed by the necessary and well-deserved depth. On the other hand, there will allow to show also this aspect Land Art never studied of Wirkkala’s immense work: the Monument Saivaara is one of his less known works, but this sample tries to verify that she is, nevertheless, one of the most significant of the set of his impressive artistic path.

Organized and produced by the Latin-American Institute of Finland, the exhibition is inaugurated on October 6 at 20 a.m. in the gallery of the Institute, parallel to the activities that are carried out all over the world to commemorate the centenary of the birth of the artist.

Maqueta Memorial Saivaara | Imagen: Fuco Reyes. Márcia Nascimento Nuno Costa Arquitectos
Model Brief Saivaara | Image: Fuco Reyes. Márcia Nascimento Nuno Costa Arquitectos

The labor of investigation that appears in the exhibition I Block Wirkkala: Monument Saivaara, 1978. Finnish Lapland has been subsidized for: Arts Promotion Centres Finland, Greta and William Lehtinen Foundation and Oskar Öflunds Foundation. It has had also the background data of I Block Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation between other entities and persons who generously have supported the investigation of different manners as for example the teacher Juhani Pallasmaa.

Márcia Nascimento and Nuno Costa

The investigators, Márcia Nascimento (Barcelos, 1982) and Nuno Costa (Póvoa de Varzim, 1984) is classified in Architecture in 2007 as the School of Architecture of the University of the Minho and Masters in Rehabilitation and Urban Renovation in 2009 as the University of Santiago de Compostela. Between his collaborations they emphasize that of project assistants in studies of architecture of Spain and Portugal between 2007 and 2010, and that of assistants of investigation in the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Lisbon between 2010 and 2012.  From 2012, under the orientation of the Teacher Juhani Pallasmaa, they develop the artistic project I block Wirkkala: Brief Saivaara, 1978. Finnish Lapland, for which they were scholarship holders for the Arts Promotion Centres Finland, Greta and William Lehtinen Foundation and Oskar Öflunds Foundation.

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