My most recent series of works The New Landscapes are urban landscapes or (city)scapes, photographed in Finland; Jyväskylä, Kuopio and Helsinki, USA; Brooklyn- New York, Swizerland; Zürich and Basel, Germany; Düsseldorf and various places, and Portugal; Azores, between years 2004-2006.
The New Landscapes are taken from famous metropolises or buildings, factories, cemeteries, airports, towers – mostly strategically important places involving a mixture of lights in the scenery and a long exposure so that they become almost like short movies. These urban landscapes are basically drawings of my body movements that can be seen on photographic material as rhythmical light lines where subject and the scenery melt into a single image. Pictorial motifs are divided into different surfaces; the abstraction and pictorial surface, into the human presence (breathing, heartbeat, laughter, talking, walking during the exposure time) and into the photography as media that in my works is moving closer the painting. The subject is still strongly presented, whereas the object – the scenery- is estranged and thus becomes easier to deal with– also safer than the actual place.
The New Landscapes follows my sociological interest towards individual who is sensing, understanding and placing herself in the outside world. There are conceptual similarities with my previous works on control and on the fear of losing control. The New Landscapes can also been seen as an attempt to capture and control a possibly dangerous city at night from a distance. The alienation of the object and the aesthetic of emptiness are again present in my new images and the scale is often obscure. The presence of individuals and their achievements can be seen in my work even if they are not exactly shown.
The images have been reworked by computer. My figurative language; minimalism or reduction of an information is more a visual method, which have references to symbolic or linguistic meanings (emptiness, infinity) but also it can been seen as an art historical references to modernist painting.
As a result of all these pictures become concentrated narrations of recognition and moment aswell as large colour abstractions that have profound significance of the surrounding reality.
Nanna Hänninen © 2007