Antti Laitinen with Nettie Horn at Scope

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Antti Laitinen It's My Island 2007 video [large detail of still from installation]

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[edited sequence of video stills from the gallery site]


On the other side of the cultural Finland we know (or perhaps that of almost any other modern nation) there may be just a guy and his wilderness.

Over a period of three months Antti Laitinen filled and dragged one sandbag after another into the sea to make his own little island - and then he dragged them back. "It's My Island", the documentation of the 2007 construction project, was displayed at Scope by the London gallery Nettie Horn and shown in three video monitors, each actuated at a different moment.

The gallery describes the source of the artist's remarkably engaging creativity

Antti Laitinen’s work shares some of the absurd seriousness of [the 1957 "Manila Rope" by the Finnish novelist Veijo Meri, a literary performance of body art]. Just as in Meri’s story, so in Laitinen’s works incongruity between an individual’s performance and circumstances grow into a cultural metaphor. Many of Antti Laitinen’s work [sic] deal directly with fundamental issues of Finnish identity and cultural imagery, they are pictures of masculinity set in a context of nature and culture.
As I watched the video and later searched for more of this work and its contexts, I was reminded of the Sisyphean works of Brooklyn artist Dexter Buell.


[second, thumbnail image from nettiehorn.com]