A Nature Documentary (2021)
Short film, 10 min
Finnish artists throughout time have described the nature of our land as mystical and untouchable. In these national landscapes rest both eyes and soul.
In the essay-film A Nature Documentary by Joel Karppanen seasons change and years go by, while bears roam in the woods and nature photographers wait inside their hiding stalls. At the same time, the landscapes Finns know and love are distorted and resided; the nature which exists in our imagination is locked in cages, stuffed in museums and chopped down of trees. In addition, the film questions the idea of “real”, original nature which presumably existed prior to the nature imagery. How do we know if original nature ever existed?
The thesis in A Nature Documentary is self-critical and sad as well. Native animal populations are being displaced by virtual populations. The soaring of a gallant bird of prey is captured on the screen of an empty movie theatre. Is it eventually impossible to describe nature in another way?
Welcome to a stimulated national park.
Joel Karppanen (b. 1993) is a visual artist, who works with documentary photography and experimental film. His debut piece Suomalainen pastoraali was published in Musta taide book series in 2018. His works have been seen in several private and group exhibitions in Helsinki, London, Wien, Bratislava and Mänttä. Karppanen is rewarded by New photojournalist and Jouko Lehtola foundations New Hero award. His works can be found in several private and public collections. Karppanen is based in Helsinki.