Axel Straschnoy · Lights in the landscape · Piippuhalli, Finland
Axel Straschnoy presents Lights in the Landscape at Piippuhalli Museum, Savonranta, Finland.
The exhibition Light in the Landscape brings together two sets of works separated by almost a decade in which deal with similar subjects–lights that move autonomously through a landscape–in different ways.
The series Planetarium Stills was part of Straschnoy’s project to create the first planetarium film in Finland. The film depicts the Northern Lights, a common theme for planetarium films, but shifts the point of view to an observer on the ground. It provides the spectator the experience of being alone in winter in northern Lapland under the Aurora Borealis.
The film was shot as a series of photographs, the standard way of shooting such a film in 2011. Out of the tens of thousands of images, Straschnoy selected a few that provided a new perspective on the subjects, combining the images from the film and from the shooting process.
The Devils of Paasselkä is a film about our relationship with the unknown. For more than three hundred years, mysterious lights have appeared floating over the Paasselkä lake, which sits on a meteorite crater. Interested in a phenomenon that sits at the border of science but for which it has no explanation, Straschnoy interviewed eight local witnesses on their experiences. It is their stories that are heard as Straschnoy and Hermanni Nieminen attempt to find the lights themselves.
Axel Straschnoy (born 1978) is a visual artist and filmmaker from Buenos Aires, based in Helsinki. His work deals with the social practices surrounding objects of knowledge. His long- term, research-focused projects span planetarium films, performances, film installations, editions, travelling exhibitions, museum collections and VR films. He is interested in expeditions: literal and metaphorical, scientific and artistic. Straschnoy has participated in the Le Pavillon residency at Palais de Tokyo and trained in Art History at the University of Buenos Aires.
The artist would like to especially thank the interviewees who kindly retold their stories for the making of this film and the local community who supported this endeavour. The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Leo Karppanen and Helena Tiilikainen.