The Aftermath of the Isis Terrorist Attack in Passage Saint-Pierre Amelot in Paris.
On Friday, 13th of November 2015, six terrorist attacks took place in Paris. A total of 132 people died. There were 90 victims in the Bataclan Theater at the corner of Boulevard Voltaire and Passage Saint-Pierre Amelot. On Sunday, November 15th, the Helsingin Sanomat published ten pages on the terrorist attacks, of which the Jihadist organization Isis took responsibility. The title of the first spread was The bloody footprints on the street made the tragedy real. The headline referred to what I saw in the Passage Saint-Pierre Amelot the morning after the terrorist attack; bloody traces of shoes and dried blood. Just two hours before the terrorist attack I had left my apartment on that same street to attend a concert at la Gaîté lyrique. No one was allowed to leave the concert hall before 3am on that Saturday night. Passage Saint-Pierre Amelot was barricaded after the terrorist attack and I couldn’t get home until the next morning. (Figure 1.)
In my facebook update on Saturday morning, I talked about the bloody footprints on my home street. I wrote that I was living just a few dozen meters away from the Bataclan Theater. After my status update, Finnish magazines and media contacted me. Petja Pelli, an editor at the Helsingin Sanomat, called me on Saturday afternoon. We agreed to meet at the border of the isolated area, at a corner bistro on Rue Oberkampf and Boulevard Richard Lenoir. Before the meeting, I was shooting for the first time after the terrorist attack. That Saturday I had decided to start filming a new work, as producer Mirka Flander had urged me to do earlier that same day. I took the first picture through the window of my street-level apartment after I had noticed a bloody trace on the bitumen. When I left for the meeting that afternoon, I saw the bloody traces of a right foot in front of my window. I told Pelli how someone must have been running fast that night out the front of our house. Sunday’s Helsingin Sanomat wrote about my observation: Just as if someone would have painted their foot with blood. The traces of their right foot were far apart. The victim had been running fast. (Figure 2.)
In this article, I will focus on my unfinished video installation about the terrorist attack at the Bataclan Theater and about Passage Saint-Pierre Amelot after the attack. The work will be completed in November 2017 for the Turku Biennale. This very moment and place will produce the point of view for my video installation. This approach is distanced from the original plan and script, but not yet attached to the final structure, form and content of the work. Even though my video installation is based on a script, the structure of the work that will be created during the editing process will also affect the content and the way the final work will be experienced and perceived. The work cannot be detached from the places and spaces where it was filmed and where it will be shown. Every audience, place, and space produces and reformulates the work. There isn’t any autonomous video installation. The work exists only temporarily at a particular venue for a random audience. The site of the presentation always affects the form of the work. There isn’t any original and real form.
This article was previously published under the name of ”Raja – 19, 32, 38 ja 39. Isisin tekemästä terrori-iskusta ja väkivallasta kertovan videoinstallaation keskeneräisyydestä” in the peer reviewed online journal Tahiti (1/2017). Translation: Pekka Niskanen, Melissa Ryke, Emma Helle.