LAURI ASTALASketch for the Last Map 11.9.2021 – 10.10.2021
The idea of the relationship between image and reality has been the leitmotif in my artistic work. Spatial perception and the use of maps continue to change in an era of augmented reality and map applications for portable devices. I, too, notice how differently unknown cities take shape in me when I navigate them as a real-time point on my cell phone screen – or when I prepare for video shoots using street view in the browser.
Many faces of cities – private spaces, less “public” realities, cleared, restricted or fenced off out of sight - stay excluded from maps and the stream of images. I play with the idea of examining different strata in the urban space at the same time. As I shot the video, I looked for various “opposites” – in a historical, political or social context, for example. I superimpose these simultaneous yet separate spatial realities into different image layers in the video.
Sketch for the Last Map (2021) was shot in several cities in Belgium, South Korea, India, France, Turkey and Uruguay between 2014 and 2020. Overlapping layered images of indoor and outdoor spaces form the core of the work – as if the buildings had become translucent or the view layered from overlapping reflections. The reciprocal image layers in each “situation” are from the same city and some even from exactly the same place.
Lauri Astala’s (b.1958) production comprises sculptures, videos and computer-assisted video installations. He draws on concepts of space, spatial experience, and the cultural structures that shape them. Astala has held numerous solo exhibitions and participated in collective exhibitions and film and video festivals in Finland and abroad since 1989. He was awarded the State Prize for Visual Arts in 2017, the Pro Finlandia Medal of the Order of the Lion of Finland in 2013 and a State Artist Pension in 2021.
The Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the Finnish Cultural Foundation have kindly supported the exhibition / work.