Sinking with the rest of the world, 2021

Tiina Raitanen’s ‘Sinking with the rest of the world’ is a sculpture intertwined around a tree and reminiscent of a running belt used by swimmers in a pool. It is made of concrete with steel details. The steel parts are items collected from nature in and around the town of Hanko during the summer of 2020. Raitanen has removed the rust from the items and protected them from rusting again. They however show time’s erosive effect on them. No amount of polishing can restore them to their newness. They appear as pieces partly embedded into the concrete.

The running belts are made of foam rubber and designed to support the swimmer just enough to make moving in water easier. In Raitanen’s sculpture this equipment and material have become heavy and pulling down. It does not support the user but instead keeps them in place and pulls them under the water. The creation of the installation started with thoughts of climate change and the rise of sea water levels. It radiates frustration, cynicism and surrender in a poetic way. Is there anything we can do anymore? On the other hand, the installation also offers playfulness. The user of the weight belt can release themself of the burden simply by opening the buckles.

The sculpture was installed on a bent tree at HUS festsal shore.

Photos: Sandra Kantanen

Coastline Sculpture Project is an artist-led project focusing on contemporary site-specific sculpture. The first event was organised in Hanko in July 2021 in cooperation with mobile application Harha. Harha guided the audience to the site-specific sculptures and expanded the experience with sounds, stories, process descriptions and digital shadow works.