The Venice Questionnaire #22: Antti Laitinen

May 24, 2013 8:00PM

ArtReview sent a questionnaire to a selection of the artists exhibiting in various national pavilions of the Venice Biennale, the responses to which are being published daily in May, in the run up to the Biennale opening. Antti Laitinen is representing Finland. The Pavilion is located in the Giardini.

What can you tell us about your plans for Venice?

I will present two new works. The work Forest Square involves cutting down an area (10 m x 10 m) of forest, and sorting out the trees, undergrowth and surface soil. This material I separated by type (wood, spruce needles, ferns, twigs etc.) and then arranged for a final photograph. Forest Square consists of three photographs, one of the forest before any trees are felled, the second one after the trees and the topsoil has been removed with only a black square remaining in the forest and the third one in which the material has been arranged (by type of material) in various rectangles within an equal area of 10 m x 10 m. The work Tree Reconstruction involves cutting down five large trees, chopping them into parts and reassembling them in Venice, outside the Aalto Pavilion, a little bit like a huge jigsaw puzzle – some parts fitting better than others. These trees were felled near my home in Finland.

Are you approaching the show in a different way to how you would with a ‘normal’ exhibition?

I work with the same ambition and intensity in every art project I make, but this time I had more resources and time than ever before.

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Antti Laitinen, Forest Square II Forest Square III