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Released on 24 Jan 2024

Maija Blåfield: Scenic View

Turku Art Museum, Darkroom 26 January – 17 March 2024

Join us for the press preview on Thursday, 16 November 2023 at 11 am at Turku Art Museum. The artist will be present on the occasion.

Opening on Thursday, 25 January at 5-7 pm. Welcome!

Scenic View (2023) is an experimental nature film about observing the forest landscape. It approaches its subject matter from unexpected perspectives and encourages us to reflect on what we see and whose narrative we believe, when familiar things unexpectedly become complex.

At the heart of the film  is the relationship between the human gaze and the landscape seen in the forest. Primaeval forests have become so rare that they almost feel fictional to the viewer. Is the primaeval forest now a fairytale forest? Is the commercial forest the real one? And since nature documentaries are staged, are they fiction?

Humans view the landscape from their own perspectives, influenced by the tradition of landscape painting and values and needs related to the forest. It is challenging for humans to see the forest for the trees and to understand the living ecosystem behind the landscape. This misconception is depicted in the film with imaginary natural phenomena, created with special effects, and a fantasy sequence reminiscent of a horror film. The ambience borrowed from horror films is included because today, every nature documentary reminds us of the horrifying state of our environment.

The work is also a documentary film about how nature documentaries are made. Initially, the narrator is a convincing guide, but gradually, the narration begins to take on strange and alienating tones. It breaks the rules of filmmaking by revealing how nature documentaries are constructed by manipulating, staging, framing, and composing the content, showing us how our way of looking and our understanding changes with new information or closer scrutiny.

Maija Blåfield (b. 1973) is a multidisciplinary contemporary artist and film director based in Helsinki. Her moving-image works fall somewhere between experimental film and documentary, and she also works with photography and writing. Key themes in Blåfield’s works include the ambiguity of reality, experiencing everyday life differently, and how humans relate to their environment.

Originally a four-channel installation, Scenic View is shown as a single-channel film at Turku Art Museum.

The exhibition is supported by the Finnish Heritage Agency.

The artist’s work has received support from the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, and the production of the work from AVEK, the City of Helsinki, the Olga and Vilho Linnamo Foundation, the Oskar Öflund Foundation, the Finnish Film Foundation, the Finnish Art Society, and the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

For further information
Curator Annina Sirén
Tel. +358 50 3568 800

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