Stains on Public Space

The text is just a fragment, but is it a stain on public space? Is its author perhaps achieving something by making us think again about the (missing) text? (more than who…?)

It made us smile at least.

And last summer there was a whole poem of similar texts sprayed on the asphalt paths around Töölö Bay and over the railway to Kallio.

Young author (that’s official) Alexandra Salmela contemplates what really should constitute rubbish in a city centre.

We doubt she has ever stumbled on the diatribes on Kamppi or other rants on this blog. But her short column in today’s paper the pay-to-view version of the Usual  is enough to make one curious about what other intelligent things she might have to say. More books for the pile, alas.

She starts by noting how ugly is the painted white smear on a wall near her home (in Helsinki, presumably). Until recently the wall had a bit of text, graffiti left there by someone. Now silenced by an ugly block of paint.

Salmela then goes on to note that today’s urbanites have an odd sense of perception and an even odder sense of moral indignation.

Kadulla kulkija ei enää edes huomaa rakennuksen kokoista mainosta, mutta pieni kirjoitus harmaassa muurissa tai maalaus sillan alla aiheuttaa hänelle mielipahaa.

which is to say:

Someone walking on the street no longer even registers an ad the size of a building, but a little text on a grey wall or a painting under a bridge causes them upset.

Unfortunately I have no pictures currently to share with you of the communications left out there by subtle poets in knitted wool. Keeping our eyes peeled while we wait for some real cold.

(A few degrees below zero with some sunshine would not go amiss in these dark days. I read a headline that said this “warm” weather is likely to go on into February. Yeuch!)


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