No Man is an Iland – A Spatial Essay on Literary Islands

2016
Print on plywood
26 pieces, 60 x 80 cm each

No Man is an Iland – A Spatial Essay on Literary Islands consisted of 26 plywood signs with printed quotations from fiction set on islands, installed on nature trail around an actual one locating in front of Gösta Serlachius Museum in Mänttä, Finland. Constituted thematically along the trail, the signs formed a spatial essay on literary islands – a locus recurring from Ancient Greece to postmodern literature. As the viewer walked along the trail, the quotations evolved from descriptions of a physical island into more metaphysical imagery, concluding with quotation from poem Meditation XVII by John Donne (1572-1631):

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” (John Donne: Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, 1624)

Photography: Timo Bredenberg