Helsinki Photography Biennial 27.3.–14.5.2014


Ilkka Halso – Beautiful but Terrifying Naturale

Ilkka Halso is a Finnish photographer from Orimattila who explores the complex relations between humanity and nature, through photography and digital art. He brings together architecture, landscape and technology in these hypermodern visions of environmental scaffoldings and public displays. His imagery is colourful, high key and phenomenal as it blends together reality and imagination.

At Helsinki Photography Biennial Halso’s current work Naturale has been exhibited at the Finnish Museum of Photography. These big scale images are dealing with the disturbing problems that men are causing to our environment while being aesthetically appealing and perfectly sterile.

Your work in general is a beautiful but terrifying dystopia of how mankind is demolishing nature. What are your predictions to our ecosystem if these activities continue?

In spite of careful constructing and time consuming effort to achieve reality I see my works more as metaphorical exaggerations of state of modern mans relation to nature. I do not have strong idea what is going to happen in future. I believe that nature will be more divided to sort of musealized nature reservations with heavy use of tourism and entertainment uses and on other hand cultivated monoculture areas for producing raw products like timber. Process is slow but little by little so called wild nature is diminishing in closure to inhabited areas.

The tableaux from your exhibited series ‘Naturale’ are constructions themselves. Can you explain a little how the images come together from scratch?

Naturale pictures are combined of many bits and pieces. Usually there is real photographed part in front. In nature I have tried to emulate indoors artificial lightning with light poles or flashes hanging from helium balloons. Background and store constructions are created with 3D-modeling program with similar lightning. Much of nature is also made from scratch in computer. Finally lots of photoshopping to make transition from photographs to artificial generated nature seamless

Text: Maria Paloma Velazquez

Ilkka Halso, Main Corridor-North, 2013

Ilkka Halso, Main Corridor-North, 2013