Annette Arlander

2000.hel.fi - Euroopan kulttuurikaupunki - Europas kulturstad - European City of Culture
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Double Happiness in water
Therapy for couples
Feng Shui style
video work 2000
camera: Annette Arlander
editing: Christian Lindblad, LR-film
duration 68 min.
    Sequences:
     - Farrera, October 1999 - Annaghmakerrig, October 1999 - Dunfanaghy, October 1999 - Inishmore, October 1999 - Kälviä, October 1999 - Harakka, November 1999 - Harakka, February 2000 - Harakka, March 2000 - Harakka, April 2000 (on the vhs-copy the work is repeated three times, followed by a pause for rewinding)
    Background:
    In autumn 1999 I spent a month in Centre d’Arte I Natura in a small village in the Pyrenés called Farrera de Pallars. The roofs of the village are traditionally made of flat and round stones. I was video filming the mountain brooks, recording their sound and writing a radioplay. Just for fun I also wanted to try what it felt like to work cutting stone. For my own pleasure I painted the old Chinese symbol for marital happiness called Double Happiness, actually meaning double joy, on some of the stones. I gave them to the family I was staying with, to be placed in the earth in the Southwest corner of their garden, to increase their family luck. One of the stones I kept for myself. Just before leaving I wanted to see what it looked like in running water. That is how this videowork started.
    ‘The joy stone’ followed me to Ireland, where it took a bath in Lough Annaghmakerrig in Monaghan, on Tramore beach in Dunfanaghy in Donegal, on the shores of Inishmore on the Aran islands. It jumped into the river Kälviä in Northwest of Finland and settled down on Harakka island. On Harakka it was bathing in the freezing waters of autumn and winter and in springtime amidst the melting ice. And in the future it will perhaps have a chance to travel again...
    According Feng Shui manuals the Double Happiness symbol helps lovers to commit and to create a lasting relationship It should be painted on a stone in red, the colour of fire, because fire strengthens earth, and placed in the Southwest corner of the home or garden, where the earth element is strongest. In the Chinese cycle of elements earth strengthens metal, metal strengthens water, but water controls and destroys earth. How much bathing can a brittle stone take? How much emotional storms and waves or stagnant water has your marital happiness or partnership endured or how much should it have to endure?
    ‘Double Happiness in water’ is a document about the happy and not so happy moments of a small stone in various waters. It can be watched together.