Visual Artist

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, 2009

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

Distant Lens

Distant Lens is a modified 8 x 10” view camera that holds pico-projector inside it’s bellows. Projector screens the video on to camera’s large view finder and creates an illusion where the dynamics of the waves are playing. Custom made lens board holds ethernet socket and cable that replaces camera’s lens and thus making visible what has been the most critical addition of our time to the construction and concept of camera. The video feed that is playing on projector is from web camera that is located in Hawaii. The work emphasis on telematic quality of live web camera feed and works by creating illusion of it even though the material is recorded and edited and looped due practical and visual bases. The camera stands on tripod and the ethernet cable is modified so that it supports the electricity to the projector. The work also looks the blending of photography and video, that are now just a thumbs swipe apart separated in our mobile devices, as the video is viewed in the frame of static camera.

The works Distant Lens and Analogue Waves were exhibited on March 2015 at Gallery Taik Persons Berlin.