‘Mirage’ consists of eight photo sculptures made through various image production techniques, and a sound piece. The work contemplates the concept of rewilding landscape photography. I aim to find new ways to present landscape photography and bring the landscape closer to the viewer by making it more than just a two dimensional horizon in the distance.
Today, we, maybe more than ever, experience nature and the natural world as something separate from us. As a photograph on a screen, located in far away places, at a distance and presented as something that is out of reach. Nature is reduced to a two-dimensional image that is just rectangular and flat. The terminology “human and nature” maintains a dichotomy, where humans are detached from nature. The way we present nature today is similar to the early landscape photography, which was developed in the mid-19th century on the West Coast of the USA. In the tradition the photographs usually depict the landscape distanced from the viewer, in a way that could be seen as idealising and romanticising nature. The tradition has left its mark on contemporary photographic art as it still presents nature as grandiose and separate from humans. The starting point for the work is a three-week road trip I made to the states of California, Nevada and Arizona at the turn of 2019–2020, where I photographed the parts of the landscape that are often left out of focus and distanced in classic landscape photography. This meant photographing the ground, the vegetation, the waves and the sky. My aim was to get closer to the experience of being in a place physically and to make works that would adapt to the overall essence of the place, which exceeds the limits of human vision. Through presence, touch and the trace of the photograph, I have reconstructed parts of the places and moments I encountered. The end result is fragmented: the landscape unfolds as a multidimensional and immersive place that is sprawling and always in motion.
Emilia Pennanen is a visual artist from Helsinki, Finland. Her artistic practice consists of working with photography, sculpture, text and sound. The starting point of her artistic process is always in photography, from which she continues working by printing and developing images on to different materials, which will further develop into sculptures. At times the works take the shape of a sound piece or an installation. She is guided by intuition and constant curiosity towards sensory and material properties of a landscape, a memory, a touch. With her work she wants to expand the view of the photographic imprint by tracing back experienced moments, places or connections more vividly to their emotional and physical essence and origins. Pennanen holds an MA in Photography from Aalto University School of Art and Design, Finland, and a BFA in Photography from Maryland Institute College of Art, USA. Pennanen’s most recent exhibitions include the solo show Mirage at Poriginal Gallery in Pori, Finland (2023), the solo show Mirage at the Art Centre Mältinranta Studio in Tampere, Finland (2022), Almost there at V1 Gallery, Espoo, Finland (2021), and the group exhibition Unfold at the Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki, Finland (2020). Pennanen’s next solo exhibition Horizon will be held at the Photographic Centre Peri in Turku, Finland in October 2023. In November 2022 she will be working at the SÍM artist residency in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Artists in the same place