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Eestikeelsed artiklid



Mehis Heinsaar


Vilen Künnapu

Mathura (Margus Lattik)

Harry Pye

Udo Kultermann

Rael Artel



America. Trip nO. 4

You’re sitting in the plane from Helsinki to New York, with Castaneda’s „The Wheel of Time” in hand, waiting for the trip ahead to Louis Kahn’s fascinating world of structures. Suddenly you notice that a young woman next to you is holding the same Castaneda book in her hands, but in Russian. It turns out that she’s an Udmurt clairvoyant who speaks 8 languages. „Can a witch build a bridge to the world of ordinary persons?” you ask. „I believe that one can’t,” the young woman replies. „But if people wish this, then they must build a bridge in order to join the seers.”

The flight ends surprisingly quickly and you soon find yourself in New York’s Penn Station so you can get on the departing train to Philadelphia. Philadelphia, built by Quakers, is totally different than the New York built by the rich. While the first has a classical layout and a heart with a system of symmetrical parks, wide streets, optimistic Victorian-style houses of red brick, human dimensions and peace, then the energy of the last is severe and the dimensions unending. Also the people in Philadelphia are different. While in New York the waitress who emigrated from Poland is eager to tell us stories, quickly rattling on about the amount of her hospital bills, taxes and rent in dollar figures, the round black hotel worker in Philadelphia takes a good 45 minutes with a phlegmatic peace to get you registered at the hotel, doing it, however, in a very friendly and pleasant way.

Vilen Künnapu.
American collage, 2006.

While the New York taxi driver curses you with a big Orthodox cross saying that one must go to church and not the museum, then an Argentinian in Philadelphia buys 25 Estonian kroons from you for 2 dollars.

You get acquainted with the Louis Kahn archives, his buildings and offspring. The sketches and work models located in the archive give off a special energy. Children of Kahn, who was born on Saaremaa Island, are also special. It seems that their father’s radiance is carried on the most in his son Nathaniel Kahn. As a world-famous director, he is energetic, precise, funny, while at the same time liking magic and mystery. Noticing the Estonian witch Ursula on the cover of „Epifanio“ he shouts immediately „I want to see her!” Also daughters Alex and Sue Ann remind you somehow of aliens. Alex is a painter, and Sue Ann a musician. You and your travel companions Ingrid and Toivo get along well with the Kahn family. The whole family’s wish is to take part in Kahn Days in the town of Kuressaare. You get to know a little about Kahn’s father and mother. His father is remembered as a highly energetic tall and thin man who spoke 7 languages, hated all kinds of work, while his mother was remembered as a mysterious psychic and healer. Which is where Kahn’s very rarely-seen spirituality is from. Alex also admits that sometimes she sees fires or other events before they happen. Together you visit Dr. Fisher’s private residence, which was built according to Louis Kahn’s project in 1967. You also visit the Philadelphia Medical Laboratory and the British Art Center in New Haven. In a surprising way all these buildings bring you to an elevated state. You notice people around you, the eyes of whom radiate somehow ecstatically. Nathaniel explains it this way: „Lou was a channel and his buildings are antennas, which join a person with the Power.” You experience this weird quality of architecture, which one only meets in pyramids, temples, pagodas and stupas.

During the next days you experience the power of individual energy centers in New York. While the Empire State Building glows like a golden needle over all of Manhattan, the Wright Guggenheim Museum is a small and clear mandala. Up with the elevator and past the spiraling slope downwards. Movement is simple and quite observable in the sketches of the great masters. Also the New York hotel on 8th Avenue in Art Deco style where you stop is a tower of energy. You suddenly understand that the good energy of the towers counterbalances the simmering, edgy and brittle energy on the street. The last day you go with the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. You notice that this wonder of the world is also an antenna which millions go to on a pilgrimage. You feel the positive and strong energy of this figure. The sunbeam is reflected in the golden torch flame, the silhouette of a light green goddess appears in the background of the sky, the star-spangled banner flutters in the cool spring wind, and over there Manhattan, the jagged rows of skyscrapers in pastel tones.

Coming back the plane flies quickly through the night. The sun sets and rises soon again. The night is nonexistent. You understand that time doesn’t exist, your aura becomes worn from the fast flight, but despite this you feel the presence of god clearly. An overwhelming sense of happiness comes over you. You realize that you are a part of the universe. You are everything and you are a little part of god himself. In the Helsinki airport you wait for the plane to Tallinn at the wrong gate. You are surrounded by a group of mentally disabled, who are likewise on the way to somewhere. Then a voice from the radio leads you to the right gate and from there to the airport bus full to the brim, which is already waiting for you. The short trip over the Gulf of Finland can begin.


Vilen Künnapu

Vilen Künnapu is an architect and university lecturer living in Tallinn. See also his articles “A Happy Morning” (Epifanio 1/2005), “The Essence of Architecture” (Epifanio 2/2005) and “The Encounters with Power” (Epifanio 3/2006).


Drawing: Angelika Schneider