LINNAMETS (2009, Tartu)

The invisible is the mail topic for giant urban art installation LINNAMETS (City Forest). The project is a giant painting on the roof of Tartus's most central shopping mall Kaubamaja. It should be seen from the space and though become the only Tartu's piece of art visible from high above (possible tourist attraction?). At November 2013 Google Maps unloaded new images for Tartu where Linnamets is clearly seen on the top of Tartu Kaubamaja. Google Earth shows more historical images starting from 2011. Estonian Maa-amet has been showing updating pictures of Linnamets since 2010.

The picture itself is a geodetic sign for large-leaved forest oriented along north-south axis. A person looking at it from above should get confused weather he/she sees a topographic map or a picture. Ironically it is placed on town's biggest shopping mall suggesting it doesn't exist but the forest grows there. On the other hand forest is important for Estonian people, is undoubtedly positive sign. A word-game takes place also: "mets" / "mõttemets" / "Tartu – head mõttete pealinn" (forest / forest of thoughts [Estonian poetic stamp] / Tartu – a capital of good thoughts [motto of Tartu]). But the most interesting idea we wanted to convey was the invisibility of art: you know it is there, on the roof of Kaubamaja, but you can't see it unless you change your point of view.

LINNAMETS is done in collaboration with Vahram Muradyan.

Download press-release (in Estonian)

See Linnamets on online map servers:
Google Maps
Estonian Maa-amet

Some facts:
Painting size: 35 x 50 m
Line thickness: 1 m
Paint use: 72 l
Coordinates: 58,3778º N 26,7281º E

Tartu Postimees, 26.08.2009, Raimu Hanson. Kaubamaja katusel valmims hiiglaslik maaling
Tartu Postimees, 14.01.2015, Raimu Hanson. Ehitusega katusel hävib tavatu kunstiteos

Eesti Kultuurkapital
Tartu Kaubamaja
Marde Kaubamdus OÜ

Sveta Bogomolova and Vahram Muradyan
Jüri Liivamägi


Presentation of the project with image gallery, timelapse video of the process and more, 4:10 min