Helsinki-based artist and filmmaker Mika Taanila is one of six artists represented in the Nordic Pavilion at the 57th Biennale di Venezia. Salon Dahlmann, Berlin, together with Balzer Projects, Basel, is pleased to present some of Taanila’s most recent projects, centered around a video installation entitled The Earth Who Fell To Man, premiered in Basel in May 2017.
In this sequel to the reductionist film and sound pieces, My Silence from 2013, Taanila eliminates the core of the film, human form and language, and transforms it into a ‘deleted narrative’. "The Earth Who Fell to Man" features shots from Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 film starring David Bowie. The key element – mankind - is systematically taken out. Merely landscapes, building, backdrops, roads, sky and the earth are running in total disarray, upside down on screen, enhanced with the acoustical accompaniment of earthquakes, falling rocks and landslides.
Also on view will be a series of prepared film books which are part of the project for the 57th Biennale di Venezia, Nordic Pavilion, entitled Film Reader. These books all relate to cinema, each one is “re-edited” by the artist. Instead of text editing, they are “treated” with various tools such as scalpels, drills and handguns, creating a process parallel to traditional film editing i.e. splicing. These books should be quite literally considered works of moving image: immaterial ideas of cinematic writing/reading transform into eerie cinematic collages.
Archives, memory, media obsoleteness and archeology of the future are at the core of Mika Taanila‘s oeuvre. He successfully challenges points of connection between art, photography and cinema. As part of his artistic practice, he has been working in film and video editing (both analogue and digital) for 30 years. Many titles in Taanila’s filmography are based on archival and found-footage.