21 JUNE - 27 JULY 2013 Preview: Thursday 20 June, 6-9pm
NETTIE HORN is pleased to present ANTTI LAITINEN's third solo exhibition at the gallery to celebrate the artist's participation in the 55th Venice Biennale representing Finland. The exhibition will feature a selection of projects, which have marked the artist's practice since 2002, presented alongside documentation and works from the "Forest Square" project conceived for the Venice Biennale 2013.
Embodying the stamina of the Sisyphean gesture, Laitinen's performances are attempts to recall a certain primitive language and conventions where the engagement of physical repetition, the idea of discomfort and the implication of solitary gestures reflect on the essence of the human being. If the artist's drive deliberately flirts with the reality of life's struggles and defeats, it is through an idiosyncratic sense of humour that embraces the absurd. Somewhere between the irrational and unpredictable characters of Russian writer Daniil Kharm's stories and the surrealism of Monty Python, Laitinen exploits a philosophy of the absurd defined by Camus as "man's futile search for meaning, unity, and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God and eternal truths or values". Is Laitinen this absurd man, described by Camus, as the conqueror who forgoes all promises of eternity to affect and engage fully in human history? Choosing action over contemplation certainly drives Laitinen's practice and heroic impetus - after all, we all know that nothing can last and no victory is final.
Culture Now: Conversation with Antti LaitinenICA, London Friday 21 June 2013, 1pm
Please join us for an in conversation with artist Antti Laitinen, Elizabeth Neilson, Director of Zabludowicz Collection, and Harri Laakso, a co-curator of the Finnish Pavilion at this year's Venice Biennale.
Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH
For the project "FOREST SQUARE", specially conceived for the Venice Biennale 2013, Laitinen chopped down a ten meters square section of forest and sorted the entire found material such as the soil, moss, wood, pines, etc into various categories. He then rebuilt and reorganized the forest according to different colours - the composition referring to the pure abstraction and utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order from the De Stijl movement.
"IT'S MY ISLAND" (2007) consists of a series of photographs and a video-triptych depicting the artist constructing his own island (and micro-nation) in the Baltic Sea; using nothing but a spade, sand and sacks. Individually filling each of the 200 bags with sand, the three simultaneous videos go on to show Laitinen painstakingly dragging each bag to the same spot in the sea, braving the harsh waves and conditions, until the island starts to appear over the water.
In "BARE NECESSITIES" (2002), Laitinen explores our romantic notions of nature in this urban age by living for four days in the Finnish national landscape, a forest beside a lake, without any food, water or clothes. The concept "escape from culture into the arms of the wilderness " is one of the basic motifs of Finnish identity: the first Finnish novel, Aleksis Kivi's "The Seven Brothers", is a story of seven men who escape into the forest to evade the demands of civilisation. Laitinen's work is a documented lifestyle experiment, which explores the idea of a return to nature in an age of ecological problematics. In the video, we see the artist in all sorts of seemingly comical situations: lighting a fire by rubbing two sticks together, picking up ants for food, fishing with a primitive spear, burrowing in the moss under a tree to sleep.
Having preserved a seven Cubic meter block of natural ice in Styrofoam since the previous winter, Laitinen waited until the summer to resurrect this "iceberg" into the sea. The artist went on a slow rowing journey, iceberg in tow, during which the ice progressively disappeared and melted back into the water it once came from. This idiosyncratic vision is encapsulated through a video and a series of photographs.
For any further information on the works and their availability, please contact Danielle Horn on firstname.lastname@example.org
NETTIE HORN 17A Riding House Street London | W1W 7DS +44 (0)207 637 2106 email@example.com www.nettiehorn.com
Icelandic nature is prominent in Eliasson's work, and his artistic relationship with it often involves collection or documentation that is scientific in tone. The country becomes a sensory laboratory where ideas can be developed and evolved into art, as evidenced in the multiple photographic series that would seem to witness a near compulsive need for collecting.
TAKA ISHII GALLERY, Tokyo presents NOBUYOSHI ARAKI - EroReal
7 June - 27 July 2013
Magazine pin-ups aren't interesting, are they? Especially now that they're shot digitally, they lack eroticism. They're doing it wrong. That's why I had to come in. It's not about an ambiance or concept; it's about being real. Not realism, but real?ero-real. I have to say it straight. It's not about nudity; clothed subjects can be erotic.
The approach, London presents JACK LAVENDER - Dreams Chunky
6 June - 28 July 2013
Jack Lavender draws from a world of mass-produced objects, transforming their singular banality through their composition within such structures as grids and metal armatures. Sitting between the disciplines of painting, sculpture and collage, Lavender brings different elements together to create a new entity.