Janne Laine’s exhibition is a peek into the other side of existence. It is a form of consciousness normally left unseen, even though you know that it is there. Laine creates both unique and series of artworks using traditional methods of photography-based intaglio. He is an incomparable illustrator of liminalities. He is comfortable in the borderlands of tangibility and likes to reveal the invisible.
It has become customary to stress that there is no landscape without the human gaze, this cultural background. When looking at Laine’s art, one tends to disagree. Even though the viewer is aware of both their gaze and that of the artist, it still feels as if the landscape of the artworks existed in both the beginning and the end: The time before humans and the time after.
Laine doesn’t only depict landscapes. In many of his works, the human presence is more concrete than merely a gaze. Humans leave their mark on landscapes and places. When humans have taken over a space, it shows. Laine gathers these observations and reproduces them in wistfully toned artworks. However, his nostalgia is not hollow, but often heart wrenching. In one of the key works in this exhibition, the black tracks on the marble resemble a distant landscape. In reality, they are depressions gradually worn on the surface by the sleeping homeless people of Paris.
Distant is Janne Laine’s first exhibition in Veikko Halmetoja’s gallery, but their collaboration stretches back to the turn of the millennium. Halmetoja also curated Laine’s 2015 retrospective in Tampere Art Museum. Laine’s artworks have been acquired by numerous art collections in Finland and abroad, such as Kiasma in Helsinki and the Albertina in Vienna, Austria. This year, Janne Laine was granted the Posti Art Award.