How about life?
What to get next?
Why they placed it in the middle of nowhere with intention to hide it from everyone? Are Finns that bitter about being part of either of those Empires? Hungarians would put statue of Austrian emperor in the middle of the square somewhere , yet Finns hid it on the bank of the river , you cannot even stand in front of the monument. Shame.
Statue marking the 200th anniversary of the meeting between the Swedish Crown Prince Karl Johan (fomerly Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte) and the Tsar of Russia, Alexander I, in Åbo.2012. On the bank of the Aura, in front of the former governor’s house (in which in 1812 Alexander and Bernadotte met), was opened a monument to the two monarchs. (x)
Although Andrei Kovalchuk’s sculpture is an interpretation of an historical event, it has nevertheless been created so that it uses the artist’s freedom and creative imagination. The artwork intentionally stretches the boundaries between a monument and a memorial in its visual presentation. It is a work of art that depicts a single event, while simultaneously referring to different “time-spaces”. At the time of the meeting in 1812, Sweden’s Crown Prince had already left the French army, but in the statue he is shown wearing a French Marshall’s uniform. Political issues were most probably resolved behind closed doors, but the statue stands on a riverbank in the shade of the trees in the midst of townspeople.
The artist tells himself says that he wanted to place these prominent people from the power politics of the 1800s amongst the people of today in order to increase our interest in history. Thus, instead of setting the statue high on a plinth, it has been placed at street level to make its overall atmosphere more human and intimate. In addition, the central part of the sculpture is Bernadotte’s chair, which depicts his military past and his status. The artist says that he wants to attract passersbys to sit amongst blue-blood European royalty and maybe to picture themselves there. In this way, the artwork creates a dialogue between the people of the present and turning points in history. (x)
The other day mmeflamel mentioned Tsar Alexander I and Bernadotte getting quite close to each other, which reminded me of this statue in Turku, Finland. It was made for the 200th anniversary last year of the meeting between the two, in 1812. What was decided during the meeting was basically that Sweden would not try to reclaim Finland, Russia was to support Sweden in it’s endeavors to get a union with Norway, Sweden would not ally with Napoleon in France and Russia would support Sweden should it be attacked by Denmark, which was allied with France. There was probably a lot of tactics being discussed since Napoleon at the time had started is Russian campaign.
The anniversary was celebrated with loads of things going on in Turku. Amongst else they made a play.