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Alvar Gullichsen (1961–)



Alvar Gullichsen: Posankka, 1999

Photo: WAM / Mikaela Lostedt

Unveiled: 1999
Materials: Fibreglass frame with steel support, composite surface. 
Measurements: approx. 500 cm x 300 cm x 400 cm.
Location: Helsinginkatu, Caribia Hotel


The ultimate Bonk-machine

Art project "Turku – European sculpture city" was implemented in Turku in 1993, and several Finnish and international artists were asked to make proposals for environmental art that would suit the cityscape of Turku. One of the first artists was Alvar Gullichsen who had founded an imaginary company in 1988 called Bonk Business Inc that produced art-machines. Gullichsen's first proposal for environmental art was "the heaviest and most spectacular Bonk-machine ever", the Bonk’s Atomic LLBH Succer that would be erected in the Port of Turku. It was a large hybrid of an oil truck and an industrial vacuum, a solution for toxic waste that, according to the Bonkworld laws, would have sucked and destroyed any material and sent it to outer space. However, it turned out that the idea was too hard to realise, both technically and financially.

It's round, pink, and it's got cute eyes

In 1997, Gullichsen had another proposal to offer, Posankka (the name cannot be correctly translated but it is a mixture of the names of the two animals, e.g. Piduck), a hybrid of a rubber duck and a marzipan pig. The name comes from the antique: the Latin name for porsas-ankka (pig-duck) is Anas Porculus. ”It's round, pink, and it's got cute eyes”, the artist described the nature of his upcoming work. The idea of Posankka is not only to criticise modern gene technology but also to pay tribute to the avant-garde heritage in Turku. The work brings to mind the popular ducks by Kaj Stenvall as well as the controversial pigs by Harro Koskinen. Posankka questions the supposed conflict between popular culture and high culture.

Deciding on the location


Alvar Gullichsen: Posankka, 1999

Photo: WAM / Tatiana Tolonen

Posankka caused lots and lots of controversy in Turku, and many negotiations were held about the possible location of it. Instead of the Port of Turku, it was decided that Posankka would be better in Kupittaanpuisto park by the duck pond. However, the Cityscape Advisory Board didn't find the park a suitable location for Posankka, but recommended it to be located by the highway, between Aurajoki river and the bridge of Hämeentie.

Posankka by the side of Helsingintie

Once Posankka was completed in Nauvo, it floated – like ducks normally do – ceremoniously to the banks of Aurajoki on 1 May 1999. Now it greets those arriving from the direction of Helsinki, and plays with their imagination and sense of humour.

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Sivua viimeksi päivitetty 6.8.2013 9:55 ja sivu on julkaistu 31.8.2007 11:50



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