Finland at 55th Biennale di Venezia. June 1st - November 24th 2013
Exhibition title: Falling Trees
Curators: Gruppo 111 (Mika Elo, Marko Karo, Harri Laakso)
1 June - 24 November 2013
Opening: Wednesday 29 May 3 pm at the Nordic Pavilion
Falling Trees, the most extensive Finnish exhibition yet, will be presented in Venice
Finland is participating with an exceptionally extensive exhibition in the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia that 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 takes over both the Nordic Pavilion and the Finnish Alvar Aalto Pavilion.
The exhibition Falling Trees has 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 can 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: colorful life fades away in front of our eyes and vanishes into the deep blue background. Islands of living matter drown into 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 works 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 entitled 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 this, he started to sort the materials into their constituent parts and finally to rearrange the material 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.