project for Vasa by Patrik Qvist, Platform residency january 2015
Each new place we visit bears traces and crumbs of places previously seen; places where we have
already been, where we feel at home.
The familiar superimposes itself onto the new.
We shield ourselves from the unknown and unexpected by relying on images from our archive;
scents, sounds and outlines of environments where we claim a sense of belonging. We look for
And yet for each new place visited, there is an imperfect match of that which is already seen and that which
is beheld for the very first time. This area…or is it a negative space? – let us call it an overlap: This
overlap holds the greatest potential for sensation in the most literal meaning of the word. The
familiar suddenly calls out for re-evaluation. That which appears new stirs up feelings of
remembrance and recall; uncertain whose. (Is it me or something I read?)
The aim of this project is to create a series of interventions in the urban landscape. Short texts
placed on buildings in public spaces with suggestions in two languages- Finnish and Swedish. (With
a possible future addition of English)
Moments of happiness. Moments of burning desire. Moments of indecision. Moments of dire need.
While each text is particular to a specific site / building, it should be noted that the selection is
purely subjective. In terms of urban planning- to ”add value” to a certain neighborhood is usually
done by improvements of infrastructure, housing or commercial interests. These are effective (albeit
usually costly and more often than not disruptive) instruments geared towards what has become a
mantra of an inevitable need for socioeconomic growth. This project seeks to investigate a light
handed way to reinvest in the existing spirit of a place by poetic suggestion.