Finnish born artist Axel Antas is showing two new photographic series at Volta Basel. The concept of the project is looking at copies and the act of copying as a means of understanding and relating to our physical world around us. The material playfulness is combined with a look at our conception, relationship and experience of our immediate surroundings. The work suggests a possible gap between the physical and the experiential worlds.
Both digital and analogue capturing, rendering, printing and casting techniques have been used to create the work. Antas is interested in the cross over and merging of traditional techniques with current ones, such as photogrammetry and 3d printing. Together with forms from nature he has used his close family; son, father and mothers’ hands. The photographs in themselves are also a hybrid of techniques where Antas travelled to Japan to create the pictures in one of the last remaining workshops still using the old technique; Collotype. The material quality of the final image is as important as the image itself. The complexity of the processes used are contrasted by the resulting images in their minimalistic and poetic form containing a range of history in terms of making, materials and aesthetics.
The series Lost to sight is using 3d rendered birds that have been declared extinct in the last 20 years. The work bridges gaps between past and present both materially and with the subject. The work emphasises the physical gap between us and the world around us.
Two large colour photographs from the series Kaleidoscope Landscape are taken in Mexico of migrating butterflies. These butterflies have travelled from America over 4500 km to spend the winter before they return back from where they started. The migration takes 4-5 generations to get from A to B and back again, an ongoing fluid journey through generations. The photographs are accompanied by the work Kaleidoscope Landscape (drop) inspired by the phenomena of the mass migration of butterflies. The form of the sculpture is taken from nature and oversaturated with digitally printed butterflies sticking onto the shape, like bees stuck to their nest, bordering between beauty and abject.
The multidisciplinary artist Axel Antas (b. 1976, Finland) lives and works in Finland. He studied at The Nordic School of Art, Kokkola, Finland (1997), before taking a B.A. at Goldsmiths College, London, UK (2000). Most-recently he completed the Villa Snäcksund Residency Program, Pro Artibus, Ekenäs, Finland (2016).
Recent solo exhibitions include Long Player and Format, Malmö, Sweden (all 2016); Long Player, Sinne, Helsinki, Finland (2015); Natural High Frequency, Galleria Heino, Finland (2014); New to nature, Rokeby gallery, London UK (2011); and Geometry of Place / Obstucted Views, Hippolyte Galleria, Helsinki, Finland (2010).
Select group exhibitions include upcoming project at the North Coast Art Triennale / Heritage in Denmark, which will open in June and past exhibitions include Green Land, Kerava Art Museum Sinkka, Kerava, Finland; From Heino With Love, Helsinki Art Museum, Finland; Alchemy Film festival, Hawick, Scotland; and Vienna Contemporary, Vienna, Austria (all 2016); Sato – Gumbostrand Konst & Form, Sibbo, Finland (2014); Force of Nature: Picturing Ruskin’s Landscape, Millennium Gallery, Museums Sheffield, UK (2013); Dark Hours | Fixed Space, & Abet, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, UK (2012); Reflective Shadow, Ordrupgaard Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark; In Arcadia, IMT Gallery, London, UK; and The Drawing Room, London, UK (all 2011).
His work is featured in public and private collections including: Heino Art Foundation (Helsinki), Helsinki Art Museum, Houthoff Buruma (Netherlands), Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki), Pro Artibus (Finland), Saastamoinen Foundation (Finland), Wihuri Foundation (Finland) and the Zabludowicz Collection (London).