Sanna Kannisto

Photo: Veikko Kähkönen

Sanna Kannisto’s oeuvre combines powerful personal narrative with the idea of photography as objective documentation. Her recent photographs relate to the current topic of the terrain that separates the sciences from the arts. Kannisto observes natural phenomena, but also her own individual position as an actor, experiencer or explorer in producing and interpreting the data. She has worked in rain forests and, most recently, in Finland. She investigates not just the curious species of the rainforests and the more familiar Finnish birds, but also metaphors for seeing, and the codes of scientific visualization. Kannisto’s photographs can be viewed as a performance: she creates field studios that function as both a laboratory and a stage for the photographic process. The images focus on plants and animals that we can rarely hope to see in their natural habitats, while the theatrical presentation distances us from the actual subject matter.

Sanna Kannisto (b. 1974, Hämeenlinna) graduated from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki in 2002. She received the Finnish State Prize for Photographic Art in 2015. In recent years, she has become one of the most successful young photographic artists from Finland. Her most recent solo exhibitions include A Song System in 2018 at the Metronom gallery in Modena, Italy, and Wanderer, Observer and Conveyor, seen as part of the EMOP photofestival 2018 in Berlin. Her solo exhibition at Helsinki Contemporary, Local Vernacular, was also seen in Paris, at Galerie la Ferronnerie in 2015. Kannisto has exhibited around the world for over ten years, in Europe, the USA and South America, e.g.: at the Aperture Gallery, New York, 2011; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2013; Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, 2013; Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway, 2017 and Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki, 2017–2018. Her work is represented in several public collections abroad, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, and in numerous collections in Finland. In spring 2019, Kannisto will have an extensive solo exhibition at the Centro de la Imagen photography centre in Lima, Peru, and in the summer 2019, she will take part in a group exhibition of Finnish contemporary art at the Busan Museum of Art in South Korea.