The exhibition and its title refer to Rosalind E. Krauss’ essay Sculpture in the Expanded Field (1979), in which she presents the theory of the ‘expanded field’ to explain the development of the definition of sculpture in contemporary art. In her theory, she refers to so-called “marked sites” as a “combination of landscape and non-landscape.” Krauss not only names Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) and Michael Heizer’s Double Negative (1969) in that context, but also works that “operate through the application of impermanent marks,” like Walter De Maria’s Mile Long Drawing (1968) or Robert Smithson’s Mirror Displacements (1969). All of them being assigned to the Land Art or Earth Art movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when artists took art out of the gallery context and photography, drawings, texts, and further documentary methods where often the only means to show the projects to a wider public due to their locations, their monumentality, or their ephemerality.
Jyrki Parantainen’s Maa [Earth] series from 1991 reminds of the more monumental works. Parantainen, however, employs his camera not only as a mere documentary but rather as a creational tool. He used different materials from milk, crushed chalkstone to light and fire in order to ‘paint’ on the negative while using long-time exposures to track and trace what was in front of the camera.
Anna Reivilä’s Bond series (2014–ongoing) on the other hand reminds more of impermanent works like Smithson’s Mirror Displacements: similarly to his use of mirrors, in Reivilä’s rope-drawn lines, the beholder gets a different point of view by focusing on the shapes of the subjects. Furthermore being influenced by the Japanese bondage tradition of kinbaku [the beauty of tight binding] and Nobuyoshi Araki’s oeuvre, she marks in her works the “delicate balance between being held together and being on the verge of breaking“.
Jaakko Kahilaniemi’s works from the series 100 Hectares of Understanding represent a more subjective approach. While both Parantainen and Reivilä seek for abandoned places to leave their marks in, Kahilaniemi enters a very personal territory: an inherited piece of forest, owned by his family for generations. To reconnect with this previously unalluring land, he rediscovers it by measuring the 100 hectares in a rather abstract and experimental way. Kahilaniemi walks and interacts with the forest marking the sites and documenting his actions photographically to open up a topic apart from the urbanized world.