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100 Hectares of Understanding

Over twenty years ago, Jaakko Kahilaniemi, who was barely eight at that time, inherited 100 hectares of forest. The abstraction which this represents for a child, is followed by an indifference which it evokes for an adolescent. After all, this is hardly very exotic for a Finn: forest covers more than 70% of the country, totalling 26 million hectares. Fairly recently, this photographer decided to return to this heritage in order to explore its twists and turns. This series, called 100 Hectares of Understanding  retraces his journey towards an appropriation of this land which is too big for a single – young – man. Photography thus becomes the location where the experience of the landscape can be filtered as it is travelled through, physically, mentally, and sentimentally. These explorations blend physical crossings and digital incursions, photographed panoramas and painted landscapes. The photographer combines these vast misty lands with a still life of a small wooden log resting upon a scale, or simple twigs upon a black background: from the infinitely big to the infinitesimal, each photograph constitutes a piece of an important memory game whose perimeter, one might imagine, increases as the photographer walks and the man grows up.

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