Opening: Friday, 02 February 2024, 6 – 8 pm
Exhibition: 03 February – 16 March 2024
Venue: Persons Projects, Lindenstr. 35, 10969 Berlin
Persons Projects is proud to present Nanna Hänninen’s exhibition Vanishing View. In the selected works, Hänninen focuses on current environmental issues that affect global communities, while intrinsically warning all of a future that is fast approaching. Her minimalist work conceptually challenges our perceptions of climate change by exploring through photography the gradual disappearance of uniquely diverse ecosystems. Exploring these impacts, Hänninen combines different, seemingly detached objects and places. In merging these factors together, the artist has found her own way to visually address the urgency of climate protection.
Nanna Hänninen’s photographs have, for over two decades, challenged our perceptions of reality by creating visual dichotomies. Having played a pivotal role within the Helsinki School since the late 1990s, she was one of the first Finnish female artists to utilize the photographic process as a conceptual tool in realizing large abstract images.
Primary themes in Hänninen’s work range from the processing of memory, to the innate sense of isolation and how they all work together to form a collective, universal experience. Throughout Hänninen’s artistic career, she has consistently questioned how we mentally envision the presentation of space through our emotions, anxieties, and external threats. Her work explores how we use memory as a source through association to understand the future, as both are constructions of the mind that help us in finding the balance between the here and now.
Her photographs from the series Now is the Now, collected her book Now is Now, shot against a black backdrop, are conceptual still-life imageries. In The Balance of Knowledge and Self understanding III, desert sand, cord, and a mirror encourage the viewer into a moral deliberation. In Melting Ice (Arctic Sea Ice), screw clamps attempt to hold together a lump of ice from the Arctic Ocean. These works are reminiscent of traditional still-life compositions; instead of action or everyday scenes, they depict mere stillness. Hänninen lays out the situation of our planet on a researcher’s desk with discipline, concision and very few elements.
In her newest Painted Desert series, the photographs oscillate between the depiction of reality and illusion. Rather than being straightforward representations of the landscape, they are reflections on pictorial reality. With the opportunity to traverse across the Joshua Tree National Park, among many other national parks in the the US, Nanna Hänninen documented the surrounding natural spaces, reflecting on our relationship with landscape and nature. As the most responsive ecology to the ever-changing climate, the volatile fluctuations place organic desert life in danger of extinction as they are hit with rising temperatures and severe droughts.
In working within a reduced range of color tones, Nanna Hänninen alters her initial subjects in order to create a personal response to a common reality. Her selected landscapes, shown to have an assortment of paint pulled across the page, serve as a reminder to her audience how fragile these endangered environments are with the encroachment of human presence.
Nanna Hänninen (*1973 in Rovaniemi, Finland) lives and works in Kuopio, Finland. She graduated in 2002 from the University of Art and Design Helsinki, renamed Aalto University School of Art and Design in 2010. In 2023, she recieved for the second time a 5-year artist grant from the National Council for Photographic Art in Finland. Her work has shown internationally and extensively in the Nordic region, such as at Kuopio Art Museum, Gothenburg Art Museum, and Serlachius Museum as well as many works being acquired in the collections of Swedish National Public Art Council, Espoo Museum of Modern Art and Fotomuseum Winterthur.
Image: Nanna Hänninen, Melting Ice (Arctic Sea Ice), 2017, archival pigment print, 73 x 93 cm. © the artist, Courtesy: Persons Projects.