4.2.2017 – 26.2.2017 / Uncanny Valley – Galleria Heino – Helsinki, Finland
For his solo exhibition, Finnish artist Axel Antas brings together new C-type photographs and video with pencil drawings to explore our physical relationship to the natural world, and our alienation from it.
Travelling through the remote forests in the north of Finland, Antas sought out an unfamiliar landscape distanced from his everyday surroundings. Interacting with the trees themselves – silver birch, aspen, spruce – he climbed their trunks, observing how they were affected by his weight. In the Pathetic Fallacy series of C-type photographs (all 2016), circular concrete masses equivalent to the artist´s own weight are distributed within and hung from the trees. In one, the branches arch and droop under this pressure, reaching down for the earth amid a hazy white fog that consumes the surrounding environment. Another sees golden leaves shimmering against silvery bark as the concrete globes hang. These weights animate and anthropomorphise the otherwise still trees; arms, leaves and branches appear heavy and sad, seemingly burdened by an emotional strain. Influenced by a reading of The Tears of Things (Melancholy and Physical Objects) by writer Peter Schwenger, these works speak of how physical objects can situate and define us, personifying our feelings, whilst also remaining autonomous and indifferent.