Opening May 6 2016 at 5-8PM
The exhibition is open May 6 – June 12 2016
Finnish artist Axel Antas works with nature and the landscape as his starting point. In his artistry he explores and observes man’s relationship with nature and our existence in it. His works may at first glance appear as a classic tribute to the inner mystery of nature, but with a closer look traces of human presence emerges, often created by the artist himself. By taking action and experiment in nature, for example in the form of fragile sculptures or objects, he raises questions about our perception of time, memory and man’s need to understand the surroundings.
In this solo exhibition at fotogalleriet [format] we present Axel Antas more recently produced work: Long Player. Here the artist created an installation for observation of the inexorable change of the landscape and of time. The installation is made up by three synchronised projections, an audio track and a series of photographs. The works all emanate from a large, circular wooden structure, built by Antas himself, in a forest area in south Finland. The construction is created as a tool for recording the video material for the installation, but can also be seen as a temporary sculpture in the middle of the forest. In nine separate recordings, that has been made during different times of the year and of the day, the surroundings of the sculpture is filmed. The camera moves slowly in a constant and never-ending motion. In the installation the recordings are shown side by side. The same landscape can be seen in summer, spring and winter parallel, and a story with beginning, middle and ending is created. The videos are recorded with 16 millimetre film, and to continue the circular motion Antas has used the physical capacity of the film to determine how to assemble the wooden structure: a roll of film is a total of 122 meters long and can record 11 minutes of film. The structure is therefore 122 meters in perimeter and the camera moves around it in 11 minutes.
Beside the installation there is a photography of Antas wooden structure. It stands there, among the trees and firs as a relic of man’s quest to conquer. But our knowledge of the eternal cycle of life makes us aware that this is just a temporary sculpture. In time nature will take back the materials and reintegrate them into the circular motion that life on Earth is.
In the exhibition there is also a series smaller photographs with black holes in the middle. It is the 16 millimetre camera that has burned a hole on the last frame. The audio track is played from a vinyl player, placed on the floor of the gallery. It’s a composition of recordings from the forest, made directly after each video recording, and they are played in a never-ending loop.
Axel Antas (born 1976) lives and works in Finland. He is educated at Goldsmith Collage in London and has for three years (2013-2016) been the resident artist at Pro Artibus residence program Villa Snäcksund in Ekenäs, Finland. He has had several solo exhibitions i.a. at Sinne in Finland (2015), Galleria Heino in Finland (2014) and Rokeby gallery in the UK (2011). Antas is represented in several public collections, i.a. Helsingfors Art Musuem, Houthoff Buruna in Holland and Kiasma – museum of modern art in Finland.
Read the review in Sydsvenskan by Carolina Söderholm here.
(note: in Swedish)