100 Hectares of Understanding

It’s impossible to overstate the significance of forests for Finland, both historically and economically. 71,6 % of the total area of the country is covered by forests — that’s over 26 million hectares. I own 100 hectares. 100 Hectares of Understanding is my attempt to understand the forest area I inherited 1997. Throughout adulthood, my relationship with the forest has been somewhat discordant and attitude towards my inheritance has been indifferent. Recent explorations in the forest, and in the world of forestry have managed to provoke my interest in unfamiliar inherited property of mine. I study what nature has to offer to urbanized people and I will try to create new ways of thinking and ways to experience and feel the forest. I capture nature through my lens before applying the alchemical process that makes art out of the familiar. I arbitrarily mix various types of pictures with each other and define them as part of a larger visual entity. I am working with the method of deconstruction, but rather than creating physical work out of the results of my private rituals in the forest, I unveil the result through the medium of photography. For the unknown to become familiar requires both physical and delicate acts: to nurture and to tame, to master and to yield. My photographs are testimonial, traces of my aspirations towards understanding and awareness. Photography, for me, is a gateway to the very core of my thoughts and imagination. I see similarities between my acts in the forest and walking artist Hamish Fulton’s walks, which he records with photographs and poems. Taking inspiration from Fluxus and the traditions of Arte Povera, I seek to encounter the forest with a playful and open approach. 100 Hectares of Understanding consists of the objects that I’ve found, the acts that I’ve photographed, the sculptures I’ve made and visual secrets that I have created.


About Jaakko Kahilaniemi
Kahilaniemi was born in 1989 in Finland. He earned his BA in Photography from Turku Arts Academy (FI) in 2014 and his MA also in photography from Aalto University, the School of Arts, Design and Architecture (FI) in 2018. Kahilaniemi has exhibited at Denver Art Museum the US, Voies Off Arles, Benaki Museum Athens, Klompching Gallery NYC, Robert Capa Center in Hungary, FOTOFLUSS Wolkersdorf, Fotografisk Center Copenhagen, Tampere Art Museum, Organ Vida Festival Zagreb, , Unseen Amsterdam, Noorderlicht Photofestival, Northern Photography Center Oulu 33rd Festival de Photographie Hyères, Fotofestiwal Łódź, Kunsthalle Memmingen, Kunstverein Ludwigshafen, Potentiale Festival Austria, OFF_Festival, Photo Is:rael, the Latvian Museum of Photography, the Finnish Museum of Photography, Kunst Haus Wien and others. Kahilaniemi is a recipient of the ING Unseen Talent Award (NL, 2018) and the Backlight Price (FI, 2017). Kahilaniemi was one of the selected Lens Culture Emerging Talents in 2017, and he also was one of the ten finalists in Hyéres Photo Festival and in Fotofestiwal Łódź in 2018. Kahilaniemi is one of the exhibiting artists in Festival Circulations (FR), Format Festival (UK) and Fotografia Europea (IT) in spring 2019. Kahilaniemi’s work has been featured in many publications, including Fisheye Magazine, Das Magazin, Eikon Magazine, Europe Now Journal, Fotografi Norway, GUP magazine, Greenpeace Magazine, Der Greif and HANT Magazine.
Website: jaakkokahilaniemi.com
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