Terike Haapoja, "Inhale / Exhale," 2008/2011. Mixed media: glass, mdf, soil, electronics, sound. © Terike Haapoja.
55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Terike Haapoja, Antti Laitinen
Terike Haapoja, Nordic Pavilion
Antti Laitinen, Finnish Alvar Aalto Pavilion
1 June–24 November 2013
Opening: Wednesday 29 May, 3pm, at the Nordic Pavilion
Curators: Gruppo 111 (Mika Elo, Marko Karo, Harri Laakso)
Finland is participating with an exceptionally extensive exhibition in the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, which opens on 1 June. Falling Trees, curated by the Gruppo 111 collective (Mika Elo, Marko Karo and Harri Laakso), combines the solo exhibitions of the Finnish artists Terike Haapoja and Antti Laitinen into a garden-like whole, which will take over both the Nordic Pavilion and the Finnish Alvar Aalto Pavilion.
The exhibition Falling Trees gained its name and its conceptual starting point from an unexpected event at Biennale Arte of 2011, when a large tree fell on the Aalto Pavilion, shattering it and cutting short the exhibition on display at the time.
Terike Haapoja will transform the Nordic Pavilion into a research laboratory, where technology and science find their place as tools for investigating the basic questions of life and art—memory, our relationship with nature and mortality.
In her central work Community, we see animals that have just passed away, a horse, a cat, a calf, a dog and a bird, each one recorded on infrared video. The images show the inexorable loss of temperature gradient across the body surface: colourful life fades away in front of our eyes and vanishes into the deep blue background. Islands of living matter drown in the entropic sea. What kind of community is this? Are we part of it? How does it demarcate its territory?
Antti Laitinen will bring to the Aalto Pavilion a body of work consisting of videos and photographs, installations and performance, where uncompromising conceptuality and absurd humour meet on the stage created by Finnish nature.
On the centre stage is his new photographic triptych titled Forest Square (2013). The work is rooted—literally, in this case—in 100 square metres of forest: after Laitinen had felled the trees and torn out their roots from the ground, he removed the covering layer of soil from the area. After that, he started to sort the materials into their constituent parts and finally to rearrange them into a carefully assembled composition to be photographed.
The sorted forest looks like a colour composition and takes exactly one hundred square metres of space, just like the original patch of forest.
The Finnish participation in the Venice Biennale is organised by Frame Visual Art Finland. Partners in the Falling Trees exhibition include the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland, Aalto University, Ateneum Art Museum, Bukowskis, DB Schenker, EMMA, Helsinki Art Museum, Institute for Atmospheric Research and Earth System Science of Helsinki University, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Serra dei Giardini, Embassy of Finland in Rome and University of Helsinki.
Head of Communications Heljä Franssila, Frame Visual Art Finland
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