An exhibition featuring imagery from the north of Finland opens this week in Rotterdam. The show, entitled Kilpisjärvellä, runs from 17 March to 21 April in the Mirta Demare gallery. The project is by Axel Straschnoy, who was born in Buenos Aires and now lives and works in Helsinki.
Kilpisjärvellä is a diptych composed of a film, specially designed for planetariums, and two sets of photographs. Both media are complementary, although they are both autonomous aesthetic projects. The second part of the work (the film) will be projected in Rotterdam Planetarium over four screenings on the opening day.
The project presents the aurora borealis as experienced by someone watching from the ground, following two Argentinean explorers as they set off into one of the most northern areas of the globe, Kilpisjärvi (Lapland). Enduring challenges of a severe climate and an inhospitable region, the duo has a sole purpose of recording one of the most magnificent of natural phenomena: the Northern Lights. The project tracks the explorers, recording them walking through the tundra in order to get away from any artificial lights, as they look for the best spot to capture the dancing night sky. The film’s simple narrative captures the simple issues of their everyday life, such as getting water from under the ice, chopping wood or preparing a meal. And the reward at the end of it all, the lights themselves.
The work contains stunning images, and it transcends borders. Kilpisjärvellä with its traditional landscapes of Finnish art – a journey to the white and empty north to photograph nature – that also has references to Argentina, giving rise to original creations modelled on ancient traditions.
Stills from the film/exhibition by Axel Straschnoy.
Exhibition: 17 March to 21 April 2013
At: Merta Demare International Visual Art,
Bergsingel 176b, 3037 GN Rotterdam
+31 102810266 www.mirtademere-art.nl
The exhibition opening is on 17 March at 16.00-18.00, with film screenings at 13.00, 13.30, 14.00 and 14.30 in the Rotterdam Planetarium. Reservation is required. Further details available at the Facebook event listing here.