Drummer (installation)

Kuukka Raakel

The artist got the idea for Drummer when spending a weekend in a motel in summer 2002. She saw Regina playing drums after a karaoke night. As she sat within a meter from her in a cramped motel room, she saw emotions flying across her face. It inspired the artist to make a speechless and slow-tempo living portrait of a face, reflecting feelings and thoughts. She has filmed the subject head on. The continuous movement of the drummer distinguishes the image from a still photo. She has combined different angles and two images projected in different sizes, which creates a new temporal and philosophical dimension. The images are asynchronous. The durations of video loops differ, causing the work to change constantly. One of the two images, The Story of Life, is a close-up of a face enlarged on a wall. The other, The Spirit of Life, is a head-on wide shot that cuts to a medium shot. She wanted to focus the attention on the woman's face and character. The only sign of the setting is the rug under the drum set. On the soundtrack we hear a polka, probably from Russia, being played with the drums and an accordion. It is a catchy tune easy to vary, and it seems to express the zeal and joy of life. Because the sound loop is never ending, it also has an undertone of nightmarish compulsion.

Production Year
Original Title
Rumpali (installaatio)
Finnish Title
Rumpali (installaatio)
English Title
Drummer (installation)
Production Countries
Aspect Ratio
Raakel Kuukka (Author), Raakel Kuukka (Editor), Rotislav Aalto (Editor), Raakel Kuukka (Producer), Hannu Pakarinen (Camera), Veli Granö / AVEK (Funder)
Press Photos
Raakel Kuukka lives and works in Helsinki. She graduated as a Master of Photography in the University of Art and Design in Helsinki in 1988. In addition to her artistic activities, she has worked as a teacher, curator and in positions of trust. Kuukka’s works focus on family history and close community as well as questions of intercultural encounters in the globalised world. The works of Kuukka have been exhibited widely in solo and group shows and biennials in Finland and abroad. She received the State Prize for Photography in 2013.