Sandra Kantanen: More Landscapes
21.09.2019 - 27.10.2019
Vernissage 20 Sept at 5pm
”Photographs have always given me a headache. I’m trying to understand photographs by analysing the features of light, what actually is in front of the camera, what is a photograph made of, is it an image of reality and what is the actual existing truth.”
Kantanen started using the language of painting in her photographic art to ask what photography is not. In More Landscapes the image is sometimes untouched and sometimes warped with digital manipulation. The painting like structure stops the viewer to see the image in itself over the subject. It makes one ask what is the relation between photography and truth.
It’s not a coincidence that the subject of Kantanen’s photography is nature. She studied traditional landscape painting in China at the beginning of this century and spent time in the nature too: “I climbed all their holy mountains looking for an image that turned out to only exist in my head.” The current state of the nature in China differs greatly from the traditional imaginery. In her artworks Kantanen also comments on the way we portray nature.
Eighteen years after her experience in China Kantanen still photographs nature but now closer to her home. Smoke works was photographed only 5 minutes from her doorstep in Hanko in southern Finland. Some of these images have been manipulated afterwards but the artist has also changed the landscape with smoke at the moment of photography. When Kantanen photographs landscape she pays attention to the weather, light and change of seasons. She also thinks about the history of her surroundings. “Where ever I go on this narrow cape I always come across with traces of war. Hanko was mined and bombed during the war. I have staged these woods with smoke bombs. The psychedelic color of the smoke alienates the landscape from reality while making the viewer to look closely. I’m researching, if the trees can carry memories.”
Sandra Kantanen (b. 1974) holds and MA in Photography. She has had several solo and group exhibitions around the world and some of her works belong to Finnish and international art collections. More Lanscapes has also been published as a photography book by Hatje Cantz verlag in 2019. The exhibition in Northern Photographic Centre is the first one that is seen after the publication of the book.
More about the artist: sandrakantanen.com