Irit Garty & Isaac Layish







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Sleepwalking to the office
(Nov 2004)

Monday to Friday
(Jan 2005)

City Breaks
(Mar 2005)


The Panoramas:

Panorama of Pasila 1

Panorama of Pasila 2


The Vans:




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Mob: 07905 887 993


City Breaks
Irit Garty & Isaac Layish, Mar. 2005


After arriving in Helsinki and wandering around the city for a whole day I realized I was feeling the tingling feeling of deja vu - could I have been here before? Well, as it turns out, I had.
In numerous Hollywood productions between the sixties and late eighties ("Dr Zhivago", "Gorky Park", "Reds", "White Nights", "The forth protocol") Helsinki was used as a stand-in for Russia - more specifically doubling for Moscow and the Soviet Union during the cold war or Russian revolution - and usually as a cinematic backdrop for political intrigue and espionage.

That one city could visually and narratively be used to mimic another should come as no surprise and nowadays the movie industry is usually busy creating 18th century London or 19th century New Hampshire in such former eastern bloc countries as Romania and Latvia. But my research into this peculiar situation that entangles identity, narrative, subject-hood and fiction, led me to another, more eery Finish bit of trivia.
The odd bit of information I stumbled on involves a slightly different and disturbing simulation - The Finnish police, in what seems to be an inheritance of their past attempts to uncover foreign spies and their current battle to infiltrate the current activities of criminal organizations, have the authority to create false identities which they can then back up in the population and trade registers, and various archives.

These ghost personas, once established, can then be put into storage and then these "new identities [can be] used by trained police officers who then have to commit a new life story to memory".
( ) The two sketches "Untitled, Gulls and Vans" and "Pasila Bole Panoramas" are an initial attempt to tap into the thoughts we had regarding the link between urban identity and cinematic fiction - what defines a city visually (as evident in the seaside combination of vans and gulls) and differentiates it from another. and, equally, the ways in which, structurally (as in the 360 degree, all enveloping, technique of the panorama) you would portray this narrative of one place that mimics another reality. In the case of the Panoramas taken in Pasila Bole, a housing project in the north of Helsinki, this promise of another place would be the 1960's one of efficiency and community.