Throughout his career as an artist, Axel Antas has worked in direct contact with nature, and his Long Player exhibition is no exception.
This installation has its starting point in a forested area at Kisko near Fiskars, and is made up of eight film loops in three synchronized projections, field recordings, and a photograph.
Long Player is a minimalist landscape study, its form originating in the idea of perfect harmony: a circle, a loop, duration and geometry. The film footage reflects humankind’s attempts to rationalize and control its own surroundings.
As the foundation for the entire exhibition Antas has built a horizontal platform in the form of a circle in the forest. This construction serves as an apparatus for recording the film footage, but also as a temporary sculpture that is the subject of the exhibition’s only photograph. As in his earlier works the physical construction constitutes an incursion into the landscape, and evidence of the artist’s presence; a study in the encounter between an idea and nature. In Long Player the construction has also been given its own function; it has become an extension of the camera and its allotted task. The cine camera has made identical automated shots from the platform at various seasons and times of day. This has resulted in a series of synchronized moments spread over an extended period. Because none of the loops has a beginning, middle or end, there is no filmic narrative to read. The focus is on investigating multiple similar moments and, through them, we see the relationship between time and memory. The breadth of a moment lies in realizing that the here and now is a possibility.
The soundtrack to the exhibition is played from a vinyl record and is a collage of recordings made on site, directly after the shooting of each of the films. The film footage has been shot on 16mm film.
Axel Antas (b.1976) is currently artist in residence on Pro Artibus’s three-year residency programme at Villa Snäcksund in Ekenäs Finland. Antas graduated in 2000 with a BFA from Goldsmiths College, in London, and lived and worked there until 2013. He has had solo exhibitions primarily in England and Finland, and taken part in several curated international exhibitions. Antas’s works are in several public collections, including Kiasma, Saastamoinen, Wihuri and Zabludowicz.