Settler / Uudisraivaaja / Nybyggaren, 2013

 

Flowerhat phenomenology was an exhibition in the Turku gallery Titanik, 31.1-24.2 2013. The exhibition consisted of three works, the video installation Thin Membrane, the video "Settler" and a five audio-painting series titled "Flowerhat Phenomenology".

The video "Settler" is a remake of a scene in Jan Troell's film with the same name, about Swedish immigrants to North America in the late 19th century. In the very short but cinematographically brilliant shot, that this video is based on, a Swedish woman for whom moving away from her home country has provided a fresh start and better opportunities, proudly demonstrates her new and beautiful flower hat. One could argue that Troell in this very short scene captures the essence of the whole film, or at least one of its most important ideas.

In this remake, the Settler could be a Finnish person today, living, studying, working, searching for another life abroad. Or it could be someone coming to Finland for the same reasons. Our language historically and currently deals differently with people taking refuge in the west (pakolainen,maahanmuuttaja) than with for example Finns doing the same elsewhere (uudisraivaaja, sotalapsi, työntekijä ), although the reasons for moving and traveling are universal.

The acting was improvised by Fatima Usman, actor, dancer and teacher from Helsinki. Usman is also a member of the board of the International Art Centre Kassandra, and the head of the board of the organization Afaes, Africans and African-Europeans in Europe Association, founded 2003 in Helsinki.

The exhibition the installation was part of was made possible thanks to a grant from AVEK - Center for Audiovisual Culture and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Special thanks to Susanna Okker.

 

 

Photos of Settler