Experiment No. 2: mapping

Listening to Soft Cell’s Memorabilia. Mapping out the concept of a memorial.

…It is a relative of monument, runs in the same league, belongs to this system that aims to structure time, systematise history and past, to organise memory…

m e m o r y

What is the purpose of a monument or a memorial? Is it a site of rememberance, re-memberance… a site for revisiting memories?
But whose memories? Whose memoirs?
The Memorial to Women in Times of War was initiated by veterans’ organisations and by the families of the fallen.
Their memories? The artists’ memories? Wartime women’s memories? Nation’s memories? Collective memories?

If one considers memory as the ability to remember, is a memorial then a tool for remembering? Is it’s function to activate memory?
Certain memories perhaps? Questions of authorship rise again.

f o r g e t f u l n e s s

Would it help if I looked into the other direction, into the other end of the memory. What does it mean to forget?
Moment when something falls into indifference, negligence, something slips out of memory, turns into amnesia…into mundane, into something that doesn’t rise above, doesn’t transcend…?

Monuments as p a r t i c l e s
How to remember women in times of war? (it is interesting how this English translation somehow activates the memorial, brings it into present tense, whereas the Finnish version Sodanajan naisen muistomerkki, takes it back to past.) The wars are not over yet.

For years I’ve passed this memorial without noticing it. I have not seen it.
How can something that is so monumental disappear, blend into the everyday? What does a monument do when it is invisible?

If memory is something that is already in the past, is the event of the memorial always in the past? Are monuments and memorials components that function and work in the past, or rather are they particles that work with the past. Are they stable, stationary and always still? Or do they, just by existing travel between times, decades, spaces, places and mindsets?

Heikki Häiväoja: Memorial for Women in Times of War, 1996. Picture taken on Mother’s Day 2016, Selina Väliheikki.


1 a stone monument was built to mark the site: memorial; statue, pillar, column, obelisk, cross; cairn, dolmen, cromlech, monolith, megalith, henge, stone circle; cenotaph, tomb, mausoleum, shrine, sepulchre, reliquary; Buddhism chorten.

2 a monument of granite was placed over the grave: gravestone, headstone, tombstone.

3 the restored airfield is a monument to a past era of aviation | a musical work which is an astonishing monument of skill and industry: testament, record, reminder, remembrance, memorial, commemoration, witness, token; example, exemplar, model, archetype, pattern, nonpareil, paragon.
Source: Thesaurus Dictionary

monument |ˈmɒnjʊm(ə)nt|
a statue, building, or other structure erected to commemorate a notable person or event. a simple stone monument marked the nearby crash site. a monument to Magellan is in the main square of the city.

• a statue or other structure placed over a grave in memory of the dead. a handsome monument of granite is placed over the grave.

• a building, structure, or site that is of historical importance or interest: the amphitheatre is one of the many Greek monuments in Sicily.

• an enduring and memorable example of something: recordings that are a monument to the art of playing the piano.

ORIGIN Middle English (denoting a burial place): via French from Latin monumentum, from monere ‘remind’.

Source: Dictionary App