Antti Laitinen

Antti Laitnen, The Bark, 2010. Photograph by Thierry Bal

Antti Laitnen, The Bark, 2010. Photograph by Thierry Bal

Antti Laitinen (b.1975, Finland) works across idioms of performance, video and photography. His mission across this collection of idioms is to stage mythologies and erase the boundary between success and failure, through a trajectory of personal endurance and almost delusional imagination. Laitinen takes us beyond normality into a new reality at once both innocent and yet haunted by the knowledge of our contemporary ecological crisis.

He encapsulates an artistic vision that explores the imperfect resolution of the world when faced with the sublime limits of our imagination. He says of his work: ‘It is more important to struggle for your dreams than succeed in them.’

The critic Peter Suchin suggests: ‘The term “authentic” is so deeply embedded in the ideology of the artist that to suggest Laitinen moves away from the special world that this word implies may seem to some a heretical assertion. It is, rather, a point of criticality to raise questions around received ideas about art and the special status of the artist, and in this respect Laitinin’s work is, surprisingly, a type of realism. The more absurd it looks, the more real, in a certain sense, it is, a man like any other man carrying out in a painstaking fashion extremely demanding tasks.’

For A Foundation, Laitinen presented a survey of key works from the last decade of his performances, including the It’s My Island trilogy, Bare Necessities, Untitled and Walk the Line, among others. He also presents a new commission for Touched. This new work involved the building of a vessel in the gallery at Greenland Street and an inaugural voyage. The Bark is a boat made from ancient bark collected from the floor of the forest. It has both metaphorical and material qualities. It can transport us from the place of origin to somewhere else far away. In this story the bark was transported by boat from Finland to England and then made into a vessel that transported the artist on a voyage across the Mersey.

Antii Laitinen at Liverpool Biennial 2010

The Bark, 2010
Bark, plywood, expanding foam, rope, sail and ironmongery
Commissioned by A Foundation for Liverpool Biennial 2010
Exhibited at A Foundation

Supported by

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
FRAME – Finnish Fund for Art Exchange
Embassy of Finland London
The Finnish Institute in London