Vierte Welt Production | Theatre | Video | Installation | Exhibition

BLOCK | Tapiola

Hidden in the forest lies a forgotten future 


Fri. 10. Nov. 2017 | 20:00

In the forest west of Helsinki, lies a forgotten town. Named after the god of the forest Tapio: ‘Tapiola’. A town erected in the universal spirit of progress, accessible to everyone and with no compromises. 

Bright buildings with a fantastic view, the lower apartments with gardens for families, the upper ones for singles or couples without children. Sauna access for everyone, a culture centre with a library and a concert hall, a church , a swimming pool, a cinema, a graveyard. Endless space to play, car-free roads to go for a wander, a shopping centre for satisfied people, free meals for all school kids - consistently planned and designed by the most influential Finnish architects of their time, including Alvar Alto. 

Erected at the end of the 1960s, in the world of architecture Tapiola was seen as a successful example of a humane and dignified life. An attraction for city planning and construction for specialists and tourists alike, a model version of Tapiola even travelled around the world. In 1939 already, Alvar Aalto built a pavilion for the New York World’s Fair, which attracted peoples’ attention for its plain beauty in contrast to futurism inspired machine pathos, which was the zeitgeist at the time. 

Post 1945 and through the 70s, the vision of ideal human and car friendly cities came into reality. Around the globe they still mark the post-war boom’s era, known as ‘Fortschrittsmoderne’ literally meaning ‘modern era of progress’. However nowadays the tower blocks have become a visualisation of a failed utopia and are seen synonymously with social decline, neglect, dreariness and loneliness or crime and loitering. It’s the irony of history: at the very moment in which people settle in their new living environment, the end of the ‘Fortschrittsmoderne’ can be seen and the new precariat, neoliberalism, is already knocking at the door. Blocks today can only be seen as wreckage of the ‘Fortschrittsmoderne’ surrounded by a hysterical present. But is this also true for Tapiola, which nowadays snoozes away in its forest, forgotten by the world?

BLOCK | Tapiola is our third production about life in concrete and with it we orbit around the utopias of the ‘Fortschrittsmoderne’, which have since gotten a bad reputation. After in 2013 we investigated our home, Zentrum Kreuzberg, we got in touch with the Ekbatan district of Teheran in 2015, which is a city planning artefact of a master plan for a modern Teheran from 1969, which never came into fruition. Now we got in touch with Finland. We invited our new Finnish friends to our balcony which overlooks Kotti, to go on a search for that what’s been forgotten. We will hear from Tapiolans who have lived in Tapiola their whole lives. We will take our audience for a journey through the forest, enter the Temple of Dreaming the Perfect City, and celebrate with them and thousands of star shower sticks Finland’s 100th anniversary, 100 years of Revolution, utopia and equality. Unfortunately the sauna will stay shut. 

From and with

Minni Gråhn, Sannah Nedergård, Marcus Reinhardt, Mariel Jana Supka, primavera*maas,

Julia Krause, Nadine Vollmer, Sebastian K König, Elina Kritzokat, Annett Hardegen,

Markus Alanen und Dirk Cieslak

A Produktion of Vierte Welt with the kind support of the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Department for Culture and Europe. In cooperation with the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki and in collaboration with Felipe Cusicanqui. With support by the Goethe-Institute Helsinki and the Finnish Ministry of the Culture. With the Goethe-Institut Helsinki und des Suomi Minister for Culturel Affairs.

Thanks to Ben af Schulten, Kirsti Sysikaski, Olli Juvonen, Meri Anna Hulkkonen, Eero Keränen, Jukka Silvenius, Eva Kivilaakso-Wellmann, the stuff of Kahvi-Olli und internil.

TAPIOLA  [Script by Baumeister Heikki von Hertzen]

Foto: Rudi Neumann | Tapiola 2016/17

Omu [Keyboard] + Minni + Mariel + Marcus + Sannah

Hobby Horsing training session in Lake Tapiola for Vierte Welt by Julia Krause | Musik: Nitro-Trio | Jambalaya (Special Thanks to Olli)