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Tirsdag - søndag 13-17

Three Knots

Antti Laitinen

11.01.2014 - 23.02.2014

Antti Laitinen: Bark Boat , 2010, Photography.

Antti Laitinen: Bark Boat, 2010, Photography.

Antti Latinen: Forest Square, 2013, Photography.

Antti Latinen: Forest Square, 2013, Photography.

Antti Latinen: Forest Square, 2013, Photography.

Antti Latinen: It's My Island, 2007, Photography.

Antti Latinen: It's My Island, 2007, Photography.

Antti Latinen: It's My Island, 2007, Photography.

Antti Latinen: It's My Island, 2007, Photography.

Antti Laitinen: Bark Boat, 2010, Photography.


With a speed of three knots, approximately 6 km/h, the Finnish artist Antti Laitinen sailed from Finland to Estonia in 2010 in a homemade bark boat with sails. Laitinen, who had previously never sailed on his own before arrived in Estonia in good standing after twenty hours.
Today he finds it difficult to explain how he managed the journey, because, as is often the case with Laitinen's performances, the project ended as a success thanks to circumstances far beyond the artist's control.

The journey between Finland and Estonia was documented along the way and is shown under the title Bark Boat in the exhibition Three Knots along with four recent video works Tree Reconstruction (2013), Forest Square (2013), Voyage (2008) and It's My Island (2007).
The five works in the exhibition are based on long-term, physically demanding and rather absurd acts, which are carried out in close dialogue with nature where Laitinen is the self-sacrificing protagonist. The works are symptomatic of Laitinen's approach to himself as well as to art and his surroundings as he, like another Sisyphus, spends several hours participating in useless work or leaves his body sweating and suffering under endless physical exertion.

As with Bark Boat it is the slow and more or less random movement from one place to another, which is the immediate basis for Voyage. Here Laitinen floats quietly through the water on a homemade flamingo raft, which looks just like a deserted island. But unlike Bark Boat the goal is unknown or non-existent, and it is suggested that Laitinen intends to float around on this palm island forever, perhaps in a utopian desire to reach a state of absolute freedom?

The need to do away with social norms, rules and expectations is a reoccurring theme in Laitinen's practice. In the work It's My Island, the confrontation manifests itself as a concrete attempt to create a small self-contained piece of land that falls outside any idea and notion of national affiliation.

Whereas Laitinen found himself on water in the making of Bark Boat, Voyage and It's My Island, he went ashore to do his two latest works. Thus, in Forest Square Laitinen spends several hours clearing a large ​​forest area, simply to arrange the removed plants in a geometric pattern afterwards, rationally systematized in accordance with the object's type, texture and colour. It is the same 'irrational' logic that defines Tree Reconstruction where Laitinen fells and deconstructs a tree just to put it back together again, now on a new location, in close agreement with the three's original form.

The driving force behind Laitinens' strange, half heroic, half reckless escapades, is a fundamental desire to challenge the notion of what is humanly possible and socially acceptable. With nature as both setting and prop, and by distorting everyday events in the direction of the absurd, he encourages a critical reflection on whether the way we live is the most desirable.
Among other things he criticises the Finnish notion that the harder you work, the more you are worth.
With humour and irony he challenges cultural practices and stereotypical ways of thinking and in turn opens up a new perspective on the actions we consider the most obvious.

Antti Laitinen was born in northern Finland in 1975. He completed his MA at The Finnish Art Academy of Fine Arts in 2004 after many years of photographic studies in Turku, Finland.
His practices include performance, photography, video and installation. He has exhibited in several countries worldwide.

Laitinen represented Finland at the Venice Biennale in 2013 with two new works Forest Square and Tree Reconstruction.

The exhibition is accompagnied by a catalogue published especially for this presentation.

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