And that's all I remember
De Riikka Kuoppala installation 2015
Grandfather says that grandmother is not Finnish anymore. She has lain in the Namibian soil so long, that she has become Namibian. I donʼt know that grandmother. Grandfather tells how he built a coffin at night and then drove to Onandjokwe to bury grandmother. In the story that I remember, grandfather is always alone.
I traveled to Namibia to look for traces of a family legend about my missionary grandparents from the 1950ʼs. The installation circulates around the day when my grandmother Eila Plathan-Saarinen, a young doctor, died suddenly. As the story unfolds, personal recollections intertwine with historical events and relations between missionary work, apartheid and colonialism.
Tobias Amupala: _“She was not sick. Eila was not sick. It is difficult to tell, because Eila maybe was angry, and the heart went off.” Riikka Kuoppala:” Just suddenly.” Tobias Amupala: “There are also speculations that she might have overdosed herself. But that is just speculation. But she was very – something had made her angry so the heart stopped. Then they – Ebba and Helmi Nikodemus were trying to help her but they could not help, then she died. Yes, it's a shock.” _
Oskar Öflund Foundation
Oeuvres de Riikka Kuoppala produites par Le Fresnoy :