Siltatanssit Tango / Bridge Dances Tango
Lauttanpään kävelysillalla, Suomi / Lauttanpään Pedestrian Bridge, Finland
Siltatanssit Tango is based on the “Siltatanssit”, a tradition in rural Finland of holding summer dances on wooden bridges, for which we invited the local dance group to Tango on the old wooden footbridge in Lauttanpää. The tango is replaced by my composition of recordings from nine bridges in the area, exploring vanishing traditions and shifting lifestyle of the archipelago, the encroaching speed and proximity of modern urban life, which has changed forever the timespan and topography of the place.
I compose the audio before editing the video, working to create a sonic composition that is independent from the images, and use improvisational editing techniques to shape the video in relation to the sound. These stories are departure points to create audio/video/text series in a worldwide mythology of bridges.
This text, video/audio composition is one of a series initiated at ISEA Singapore in 2008, exploring the cultural mythologies and personal histories of bridges. The first iteration of Welcome to Bridgeland! was commissioned by Lowsalt for Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts in 2010. Bridgeland logo originates from a statue of Spanish communist civil war leader Dolores Ibarruri beside the bridge in Glasgow. La Pasionaria is the icon of Bridgeland, visiting Nida in a symbolic opening of the Curonian Spit as Bridgeland and doing the tango on Mietoinen Bridge.
Welcome to Bridgeland! highlights the bridge as a place of transformative potential, the locus for metaphorical meanings and mythological experiences. The aim is to create a global “Mythology of Bridges” through performative happenings, subtle interventions, video/audio composition and poetic cultural essays.
The bridge offers a liminal space from which to explore the axis of socio-economic, cultural and psycho-geographic currents that flow over and around the structure, along with traffic, people and tides. If we imagine the possibility of a different topography of space on and around bridges, their stories can be transcribed with a narrative topography of trans-local histories and cultural contexts.
Fiction can be transformed into reality, in a living process of mixing and intertwining the imagination with archives, documents and histories. The bridge allows us to explore spaces of the ephemeral and in-between, rewriting their topography through lived experience and artistic re-interpretation.
The performance of creative actions, subtle gestures of intervention radically alter a perception of place, resulting in a layering of interpretations, thus inscribing it with new realities and imaginative possibilities. The bridge operates as an expanded territory of meaning, a fluid, transgressive and marginal space operating as an axis to the flow of messages, that Michel Serres calls a language that the world writes to and on itself. Derrida: “The bridge is a symbol and the symbol is a bridge.”
Welcome to Bridgeland!
Concept & Direction by Jodi Rose
Siltatanssit Tango Event collaboration with Pia Bartsch, Saari Residence Community Artist
Filming & Editing by Tuomo Kangasmaa
Soundtrack by Jodi Rose with bridges recorded in Lauttanpää, Turku & nearby archipelago region
Tangoesitys: Mietoisten nuorisoseuran tanssijat
Tango Dancers: Mietoisten Youth Club
Pyheen kyläyhdistys myy tapahtumassa pullaa ja kahvia
Pyheen Village Association catering buns and coffee
Stills Photographs: Stefan Crämer
Additional Photographs: Ilan Manouach, Nada Gambier
Bridge site visits and folklore, myths & stories thanks to Hanna Nurminen (Director, Saari Residence, Kone Foundation), Anna Kirveennummi (Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku), Dr. Anne Heimo (Department of Folkloristics, University of Turku) & Pia Bartsch (Saari Manor Community Artist)
Thank you to artists and staff at Saari Manor Artist in Residence Program, January-February 2013
Tuomo Kangasmaa, Martyna Markowska, Ilan Manouach, Nada Gambier, Marja-Leena Mikkola-Pirinen, Eija Keskinen, Airi Triisberg, Pirre Naukkarinen & Anna Kortelainen
Created, developed & produced thanks to the generous support of the Saari Residence Artist in Residence Program, Kone Foundation, Finland 2013