Stakeout / Feet Washing Ceremony (2006-)2007

Stakeout / Feet Washing Ceremony videostill 1

An audiovisual installation.

The work consists of two parts, the Stakeout and the Feet Washing Ceremony.

The first part is a reconstruction of a dream in which I am waiting to meet my dead mother. She walks up a hill and towards me, but turns away at the last moment. When I run after her, I see my grandmother who also vanishes.

After filming the scene with actors, it reminded me of the scenes in detective films or police series where a protagonist sits in a car and waits for a surveillance subject to appear. I called the language department of the Helsinki police station and was told that the action was called a stakeout.

The sound is experimental. The sources are soprano Eija Räisänen and the V8 engines of a Chevrolet El Camino and Ford Mustang.

The second part, The Foot-Washing Ceremony, adopts a performance form. A poet Gaspara Stampa (Janina Berman) is sitting on a design chair in an empty, dimly-lit room and reciting my chosen extracts of her poems in Finnish, Italian and English. A young woman (Nina Viitamäki) washes Gaspara’s feet with milk, and at the end, drinks the milk.

Gaspara Stampa (1523-1554) was among the first female poets of the renaissance. In selecting the extracts, I intentionally left out sentences that expressed the waiting and longing for a lover. Without them, what is left of Stampa’s love poems? The extracts in Finnish, Italian and English combine two elements: the pain and the joy. Stampa’s message becomes enlightening, even moral.

The second part is dedicated to all bourgeois women.

Screening format: DVD PAL
Original format: MiniDV PAL
Sound: Dolby Digital
Length: 10 min. 50 sec.


Actors: Janina Berman, Nina Viitamäki, Annikki Yrjänäinen, Janne Virkkunen
Soprano: Eija Räisänen

Studio recording of Ms. Räisänen: Seppo Salminen, The Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)
Sound recording: Christer Nuutinen
Studio technician for experimental sound: Joachim Haas, SWR
Master sound: Tuomas Klaavo

Script, cinematography, editing, experimental sound, and directing: Jaana Kokko

Production support:
Arts Council of Finland, Media Art
AVEK - The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture - Milla Moilanen

Thanks to:
Kathrin Hintsch, Die Stadt Freiburg
Experimental Studio für Akustische Kunst Freiburg, SWR/ Joachim Haas
Heikki Valsta / The Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)
Johannes Korhonen and Roni Korhonen / Leo Lahti Ky.
Eeva Pirkkala, Av-Arkki
Simo Puintila