Previously at the ICA - Events

Antti Laitinen, Bark Boat, 2010

Culture Now: Antti Laitinen

21 Jun 2013

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.

Antti Laitinen's practice is characterised by the physical testing of limits and the tragicomic character of our relationship to nature. He is generally considered to be an artist of extremes; after all, he has sailed from Finland to Estonia in a bark boat of his own making (Bark Boat 2010), built his own island (It's My Island 2007), and spent several days in the forest without food or clothing (Bare Necessities, 2002). Using explicit and oniric cultural imagery, his performances become the staged enactment of his vision of Finnish identity. Combining a search for identity and a poetry of the absurd, the artist pushes his limits in quest of the discovery of the wild Nordic landscape, often devoid of any human trace.

Antti Laitinen (b. 1975) will represent Finland at this year's 55th Venice Biennale. The exhibition at the Aalto Pavilion will be a dialogue between his new and earlier works. His latest project for the Biennale entitled 'Forest Square' is rooted - literally, in this case - into 100 square metres of forest: deconstructing it and sorting out the various components into their constituent parts and finally assembling the materials into a carefully composed area for photography.

Since January 2006 Elizabeth has overseen the strategy, acquisitions and the direction of the Zabludowicz Collection. She is also responsible for the programme in all locations including the residency in Sarvisalo Finland where Antti Laitinen was resident in 2012 before being selected to represent Finland in Venice. 

Harri Laakso (b. 1965), Doctor of Arts, is professor of visual culture and art at Aalto University. A researcher, curator and artist, Laakso has published many articles on contemporary art, photography and artistic research in Finland and internationally. He is also co-curator of the Finnish and Nordic pavilions at this year's Venice Biennale. 

Culture Now: Antti Laitinen

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