Small Spectacle about Unattainable

Lauri Astala

A diagonal wall covered with black velvet divides a square room into two parts, only one of which is accessible to the spectator. In the central point of this wall, there is a lens which produces a camera obscura image on the other side. The image fits exactly on the opposite surface on the spectator’s side (floor to ceiling, wall to opposite wall...). The space one enters is, therefore, an (upside-down) image of the other side. In addition, there are small holes in the diving wall to which are attached sandblasted plastic balls with lenses that focus and reflect camera obscura images from the other side on their own surfaces. A couple of these balls reflect a real-time video image of the spectator’s side, and because this side is an image of the other side, the spectator sees himself simultaneously ‘being on the other side’ within these balls.

Production Year
Original Title
Pieni spektaakkeli saavuttamattomasta
Finnish Title
Pieni spektaakkeli saavuttamattomasta
English Title
Small Spectacle about Unattainable
Production Countries
Aspect Ratio
Lauri Astala (Author)
Press Photos
Lauri Astala lives in Helsinki, Finland and Avalon, France. He graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 1989 and Chicago Art Institute in 2001. Astala is one of of the most distinguished media artists in Finland. He makes sculptures, videos and installations, that concentrate on our concepts and experiences of space and the ways in which cultural structures shapes them. His works have been presented at numerous solo and group exhibitions since 1989, including Eyebeam in New York (2013), Helsinki Art Museum (2010) KUMU art museum in Tallinn (2008) and Institut finlandais in Paris (2008). In 2007, Astala was awarded with the Finnish State Prize for Visual Arts.