Modern Times Forever (Stora Enso Building, Helsinki) is a filmwork that envisions what would happen to the Stora Enso building over the next few thousand years, should only time and weather affect it. Through its extended duration – the film runs for a total of 240 hours – Modern Times Forever (Stora Enso Building, Helsinki) collapses notions of time, permanence, and modernity in public urban space.
Via the decaying image of Stora Enso’s headquarters, the work raises issues of climate change, urban planning, Finland’s industrial history, and changes in economic structures. The Stora Enso building is an important city landmark, whose style has prompted discussion ever since it was built. The building, referred to by locals as “the sugar cube,” was designed by Alvar Aalto and completed in 1962. Its clean white modernist exterior has been an object of love and hate ever since its completion.
The film was first shown in the Helsinki Market Square, where the Stora Enso building is located, on a 40m2 LED screen. In that context, one could see the original building while also watching it decay, moment by moment, in the film. The film was played for ten days non-stop, so that it could be viewed publicly, 24 hours a day, for the extent of the exhibition.
Commissioned by IHME Contemporary Art Festival 2011 in Helsinki, Finland. Produced by The Propeller Group (Ho Chi Minh City).