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|Sketch for a Tree, 2010|
Through artificial means and direct interventions within the landscape, Antas explores the relationship between man and nature in time and space whilst considering the interdependence between reality and invention.
One new work Untitled, (Sketch of a Tree), is the result of a long-term project in which the artist investigated what is considered to be the world's oldest living tree. Though visually insignificant, the tree stems from a root system that is over 10,000 years old and its location is known by only a few.
Through the work Antas investigates the material qualities of film and its reliance of the presence of an object in space and time. The artist selected to shoot the tree on Super 8mm film, which points to technology from another time. Looped, the physical film measures the exact height of the tree and is suspended throughout the room so that the temporal is not just visualised but also experienced spatially. A sketch of the tree stands alone next to the projection, the drawing having been executed in exactly the same timeframe as the filming of the tree. It exists as further evidence of the artistís presence in front of the tree itself.
Obstructed views is a series of large scale photographs where a figure, the artist, is occluded by a temporal and manufactured cloud within the landscape. Although the same physical height as the artist the photographs act to dissipate the subject and hint at our failure to fully comprehend the space we inhabit.
Axel Antas' work is held in private and public collections including the Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Saastamoisen säätiö, Kuopio Art Museum, the Helsinki City Art Museum and the Zabludowicz Collection, London.