Landscapes and Contemplations 

Taking up the tradition of romantic landscape painting, Kalle Kataila thematizes man, quiescent and motionless, tarrying before nature ́s grandiose scenery. In more recent works, Kataila not only finds his atmospheric landscapes at spectacular or exotic sites, but also in urban localities. Yet Kataila always shows man in lonely places, under a broad stretch of sky and a low-lying horizon. The artist, from an elevated standpoint and from a certain distance, observes his back- view figures as they are caught up in nature ́s spectacle. In contrast to the German romantic painter, Caspar David Friedrich, the head of the figure hardly even once rises above the horizon line. Whereas Friedrich submerges his characters mentally in an imaginative heavenly sphere, Kataila ́s figure is fully rooted to the earth. As in romantic painting, the landscape could very well serve as a mirror of one ́s state of mind. Meanwhile the pictures inquire into present-day nature religion and ask why man seeks out exalted vantage points, why faraway natural wonders?

Ever since Romanticism, the prerequisite for an enthusiastic delight in nature has been a mastery of, and control over, nature through civilization, a phenomenon at first viewed positively. But more recent photography especially
—starting with American “New Topographics”—has condemned humanity ́s way of dealing with nature as being mere consumerism and has, above all, shown the wounds that man has inflicted on nature. However, different from this movement that has molded landscape photography since the 1970s, Kataila does not stylize man openly as an antagonist hostile to nature. More exactly, his figures have a touch of the vulnerable, the solitary and the deeply melancholy about them.

Katrin Hiller von Gaertringen

Cloud Based Photography
Cloud Based Photography work is a window like grid of black and white photographs. The printing process behind it elicits us to contemplate not just the many layered cloud vista but the underlying transformations that photography and technologies bound with have played.

The camera of this “technology reversing” work is webcam located on the other side of the globe from artist’s printing darkroom. Out of the fleeting stream the image is exposed by data projector to the grid of gelatin silver process papers to achieve this unique exposure. The traces of different technologies can be read from the prints as marks from chemicals used for developing the prints meet the grid produced by digital LCD sensors of the projector.

Cloud Based Photography, 2017
9pcs unique 40x50cm silver gelatin prints

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Do the Clouds Dance if There is Nobody to See, pt.1 

Do the Clouds Dance if There is Nobody to See is a 16mm film projection. In looping 1 min film reel the nightly sky with clouds formations play in time-lapsed mode. The source of the footage is specially designed low light camera that records the nightly sky viewed from top of the mountain that appears as inverted and resemble luminosities of bright blue skies of midday sun. The feed of the web camera is transferred to 16mm film with digital direct technique. By reversing and re-arranging technologies the work is asking how those technologies mediate our experiences, specially related to temporality and spatiality. The obsolete 16mm projector evokes sense of nostalgia as the film shows not just the clouds that recall 19th century romantic landscape paintings but the grains, dust and the inherited color palette of films materiality. As an accompanying work to the film there are polaroid images of the same cloud skies that adds closeness and experience to the personal level and memories.

Waves Infront