Tropical Room in Pori

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Trooppinen huone / Tropical Room, 2016
Installation, video, photography, sound (materials and found objects mainly from Pori)

In Pori Biennaali 2016 – Saatanan kesänäyttely, group exhibition at Generaattorigalleria (Pori, Finland), produced and curated by Porin Kulttuurisäätö. Artists: Anna Breu, Anna-Sofia Sysser, Erno-Erik Raitanen, Henrik Heinonen, Suvi Härkönen, Suomi Kuvaa -collective

I see the tropics being constructed in Finland. Two years ago I started to notice how the word ”tropical” is used in Finland, mostly in commercial purposes. There are various products in the Finnish food stores named “trooppinen” – meaning tropical in Finnish. Many interiors have palm trees, mostly plastic ones. Plastic is so easy to take care of.

But what does tropical mean to us Finns? Do we know what it actually means? Although I have traveled in six countries which are situated in the tropical area, I am always an outsider of the tropics. By geographical definition the tropics are a region of the earth situated between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. An average Finn travels mostly inside Europe. Nevertheless, Thailand has risen to the statistics of most popular travelling sites among Finns.

I explored the city of Pori aiming to find these ‘tropical’ elements and objects but also possible connections to actual Tropics. From the city’s big flea market I searched for material that would have typical ‘tropical’ imagery in it and found many. I built an artificial “miniature tropics” combining found materials from Pori (flea market stuff, borrowed objects, sand from Yyteri dunes) to audiovisual material I had gathered in my travels in the actual Tropics.

I also made a video work Trooppinen Pori documenting my search of these ‘tropical’ elements in the streets and interiors of Pori, including a collection of tropical butterflies in a museum and me consuming all possible ‘tropical’ products I found from the food stores of Pori.

photos: Niilo Rinne, except last one: A-S Sysser