© Ville Kansanen

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Ville Kansanen


Artist Statement

Numen is a series of installation- and land art within the context of photographic space. The intention of the work is to simulate and interact with natural phenomena revered by our early ancestors: the nascent foundations of religious belief systems.

As we become ever more reliant on science to answer our biggest questions and solve our smallest problems; and as human activity and labor are replaced by technology and convenience, we are in danger of gradually losing ourselves. We rarely touch the ground with our hands or follow the sun to determine our waking hours. Our beginnings become gradually forgotten and regress into our deepest subconscious memories. Our being becomes obscured by layers and layers of thought and human constructs. The spirits of the mountains have been diminished into geological information.

I wanted to create a way to rediscover the primordial feelings of connection and commitment to an ancient Nature; not as a witness of some awesome natural world, but as a maker of human-scale interventions for entering Nature itself. I wanted to make instruments of reverence and of communication as an attempt to discover the spiritual material that shepherds our permanence in change; to see how the mountains and the land reveal the passage of time and the rites of passage. Situating myself in the desert – the terminal landscape of the Anthropocene and the nascent landscape of Abrahamic religions – I set out to simulate and interact with natural phenomena revered by our early ancestors. I use our most familiar visual medium, photography, as if it were a cave painting or a megalith; and call to mind that we are beyond our present human condition. In Numen, alignments and installations are made to project the myth-making imagination onto the reality-presenting photograph as an attempt to discover the ancients anew.

© Ville Kansanen

Ville Kansanen's Portfolio

© Ville Kansanen

Artist Biography

Ville Kansanen (b.1984) is a Finnish multidisciplinary artist based in California. He works with photography, video, installation- and land art.

His work has been featured in several print- and online publications such as American Photo Magazine, GUP Magazine, SFAQ and Diffusion Magazine. His awards include a Lucie Award and IPA Fine Art Photographer of the Year. His first monograph was released by Datz Press in 2022. He has exhibited internationally with non-profit– and private galleries.



© Ville Kansanen

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