NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Lingering in Rapalaakso, 2018

By Tuomas Linna
300 x 300 cm

About the artwork (installation text):

“I was at my cousin’s wedding. Around the big table in three generations were relatives who had worked in the same sawmill. The first to work at the mill was my great-grandfather, then my grandfather, followed by my uncle, and finally my cousin.

I went back to the old house in the south of Ostrobothnia. I sat in the dark, listening to the silence, smoking my pippe and wondering why I even tried to fight it. Why not just give up and move where my roots are and have been for centuries? Later I forgot all about it but I guess the thought has been at the back of my mind ever since.

After laying my last grandparent to rest, I was given something that the family felt should belong to me: a 1906 Klapp folding camera. The camera had belonged to my great-grandfather—he had worked as the village photographer. I inquired after stories and his glass plate negatives. I was told that after he passed away, my great-grandmother took all the glass plates and sank them in Rapalaakso, saying she was completely fed up with photography.

I went to Rapalaakso to search for great-grandfather’s plates.

I found the place and started to dig. I dug for a whole day. I dug for a day or two.”


Left: Text, paper, wood
21 x 29.7 cm

Right: Self-portrait with great-grandfather’s shovel
Blueback paper
150×200 cm



Self-portrait with great-grandfather’s shovel

Blueback paper
150×200 cm



Sound, loop 11 min



Great-grandfather’s glass plate negative

Framed glass plate negative
50×40 cm