Finnish artist Sanna Kannisto (born in 1974) explores in her photography the theories and concepts with which we approach nature in art and science. In so doing, she uses both the methods of representation in art as well as the methods of the natural sciences. Her characteristic photographic works were made during numerous stays in Peru, French Guiana, Brazil, and Costa Rica. Plants and animals are studied, staged, and photographed in stagelike portable “field studios.” As soon as the object is removed from its original context—nature, in this case—our attention is directed toward specific characteristics and movements. The white backdoor of the “field studio” which serves of the backdrop for her stagings further amplifies this effect. Kannisto collects the most various species in great variety, explores and archives them. Sometimes she imitates a scientific approach, then returning to her own methods. Foregrounded here is a direct immersion in the strangeness of an ecological system, where no commentary explains the use of the experiments or the meaning of the many life forms for the functioning of the structure as whole. Kannisto allows for limits and obstacles both in her research as well as in her photography, but also finds mutually supportive potential in both.
Her works have been on view at Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Bignan (2008), Kunsthalle Emden (2008), Städelmuseum, Frankfurt (2008), Kunsthallen Nikolaj, Copenhagen (2007), Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki (2006), and Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2005).