Riikka Kuoppala

And that's all I remember - Installation - 2015

présentée dans le cadre de l'exposition Panorama 17


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.” _

Riikka Kuoppala


Oskar Öflund Foundation


Oskar Öflund Foundation — AVEK — GENELEC