Tuesday, 9 November 2010

the bark

Antii Laitinen is exhibiting a number of his works in the A Foundation, including the "It's My Island" trilogy and "The Bark," a new work. Laitinen is a Finnish performance artist whose work is primarily durational and explores a relationship with nature. "It's My Island," represented at A Foundation by a film, was a piece where Laitinen made an island in the sea with large rocks. Another work saw Laitinen live a feral lifestyle for three days and nights without clothes, food or water on an uninhabited island, and another saw him row an island-shaped craft across the Baltic. "The Bark" was a work where Laitinen crafted another boat from bark from a Finnish forest and rowed it across the Mersey.

All these works displayed a great degree of dedication and willpower, although I felt the exhibition lacked some of the artist's perspective, in that Laitinen's emotional involvement in the work could only be speculated on. Laitinen was silent in all the footage shown, and although clearly very involved in the work, seemed  in some ways detached. The sense of self-endangerment and voluntary isolation, I felt, was the most telling aspect of these artworks.

While some of the other artworks felt slightly flat and failed to compel me, I thought this work, "Stones," was very successful. These were three stones Laitinen had found after seven minutes, seven hours, and seven days of digging. The piece was concise and quickly viewed, although it was deep and consolidated a lot of Laitinen's concerns in one work. I felt this was much more effective and direct than the films or objects produced as outcomes from his other projects.

No comments:

Post a Comment