[Museum I, 2004]
Ilkka Halso is a Finnish artist whose work examines the tensions between our natural and built environments and ultimately, how we act to save and/or destroy both. GOOD Magazine featured his Museum of Nature series in this month's issue and wrote this:
If there's a small upside to global warming, it's surely this: After centuries of neglect and skepticism, we've finally come to appreciate just how real—and personal—our connection to the environment is. The Finnish artist Ilkka Halso imagines a time, perhaps in the less-than-distant future, when that relationship will be even more precious. Nature, or what's left of it, has become nothing more than an attraction.I'm drawn to his work not only because the subject matter is immediate and the execution superb, but because his fantastic near-future landscapes often involve beautifully realized architectural invasions.
[Theatre I, 2003]
[Kitka River, 2004]
[Cube - inside]
The photograph above, though thematically similar to the three images featured before it, is different in that the human intervention (scaffolding) was actually built. Similar to artist Florentijn Hofman (previously on BLYGAD), I find myself equally drawn to the construction of the work of art as I am to the the work itself.
[stills from Cube, 2004 - a 15 min video]
On a very related note, I just listened to a podcast on the topic of zoos and more specifically what zoos might look like in the near future. WNYC's Radio Lab co-host Robert Krulwich interviews former zoo director David Hancocks about his dream for the zoo of the future. Incidentally, it looks allot more like a Haslo's Museum of Nature then our conception of the modern zoo; it's much more of a natural landscape preserved plus windows into it (real or virtual) for humans, then a faux landscape recreated for humans plus animals.
For a look into this future zoo today, you can find all manner of 'animal cams' online (Animal Cameras Blog is a great resource). For example, check out the award winning MusselCam based out of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Ilkka Haslo (Finnish) | GOOD Magazine - Statement by Ilkka Haslo (2 high res images) | Art Critic Pessi Rautio on Ilkka Haslo's Museum of Nature series | WNYC's Radio Lab Podcast: Zoo Keeper's Dilemma | Animal Cameras Blog
Friday Photography | The Curiously Large Animals of Florentijn Hofman