You Can Fall from The Table

Duration 17:28
Sound Design: Johanna Storm
In collaboration with Outi and Niila Tuori
HD video

Language is a powerful instrument.

For the work You Can Fall from The Table, I followed the development of a little boy’s speech for about ten months. I asked him from time to time to come to the “story chair” in my studio to talk about things that had just happened or to think back to some things that stuck in his mind from the previous summer. I filmed these explanations and attempts to explain. The work is made up of these short stories.

When filming began, the boy was one and a half years old and could not speak. However, this did not stop him from explaining things, on the contrary, the explanations were very vivid. In the video, we see how the boy grows and his speech develops and becomes richer. Visually, the work is very sparse. Efforts have been made to remove all unnecessary things from it, so that the attention is drawn to the matter itself: the little boy and his speech.

The work focuses on language and how, with the help of it, a small child begins to conceptualize and understand the world and his own identity. Language is a powerful tool. By saying the word milk, a glass of milk appears on the table.
The work consists of small stories. The boy has repeated some of the stories many times. They already resemble some kind of mantra. We have no way of knowing whether the boy’s stories are his own memories or whether they are made up of his parents’ stories or something else.

Although the main subject of the work is language, other things inevitably come into play, such as the highlights of a little boy’s everyday life; grandfather’s broken sock or the dog falling into the water. The boy tells his story with great dedication and seriousness. He is annoyed by his inability to express himself and, accordingly, is happy when he is understood. The little boy is doing his best trying to master his new tool. The piece was originally made as part of the artists’ Kalevala 2009 project.

From the story The Little Fish Fell and Got Squashed

From the story Water Sprays from the Mouth of the Fish Statue in the Swimming Hall and May Hit Your Forehead

From the story Six Fishes

From the story The Boy in the Park Was Very Small

From the story You Can’t Find a Zebra’s Ear, No Matter How Hard You Look

From the story The Cafe Downstairs Was Broken Into…