Lamenting is an ancient oral tradition that combines singing and crying. Everywhere in the world, women have traditionally sung and continue to sing these songs at transitional moments in life such as funerals and weddings, or bidding farewell to a loved one. The ritual is used to express suffering and sorrow, heal pain and trauma, and connect the past with the present to advance into the future. The material for Lament, Song for Transitions was recorded at a workshop the artist organized during her stay in Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland (2010), where she invited singer Pirkko Fihlman to teach the almost forgotten, ancient Karelian lamenting technique. The video includes footage from Finland’s first re-enactment: Häidenvietto Karjalan runomailla: A Wedding in the Karelian Songlands, 1921 (directed by A. O. Väisänen, U. T. Sirelius). Part of the workshop was held at the Karelian Pentinotsa house at the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum, Helsinki. Various types of video transitions including jump cuts, fades, blurs, blends, dissolves and masks become an important formal element that hold image sequences together, resisting the idea of a smooth, linear story.
Häidenvietto Karjalan runomailla: A Wedding in the Karelian Songlands, 1921 (Directors: A. O. Väisänen, U. T. Sirelius)
Musik: Kuolinitku Äidille/Dirge To The Mother, Kuolinitku Sodassa Kaatuneelle pojalle/Dirge For A Son Who Has Fallen In Battle, from Laments from Karelia, Ingria, Finland, Toim, Anneli Asplund, 2004; Kai Pfeiffer, Études Hyperboliques #14, Polybone Records, 2008