Ville Kansanen - The Eye of Photography Magazine

Ville Kansanen – The Eye of Photography Magazine


Numen is a series of photographs, videos, installations and land art. The intention of the work is to simulate and interact with natural phenomena revered by our early ancestors as a method to rekindle our primordial connection with Nature.

As we become increasingly dependent 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 risk being progressively lost. We rarely touch the ground with our hands or follow the sun to determine our waking hours. Our beginnings are gradually forgotten and regress in our deepest subconscious memories. Our being becomes obscured by layers and layers of human thoughts and constructions. Mountain spirits have been reduced to 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 to an awe-inspiring natural world, but as a creator of human-scale interventions to enter into nature itself. I wanted to make instruments of reverence and communication as an attempt to discover the spiritual material that guides our permanence in change; to see how mountains and earth reveal the passage of time and rites of passage. Positioning myself in the desert – the terminal landscape of the Anthropocene and the emerging landscape of the Abrahamic religions – I undertook to simulate and interact with natural phenomena venerated by our first ancestors. I use our most familiar visual medium, photography, as if it were a cave painting or a megalith as a reminder that we are beyond our current human condition. In my work, the photographic space is a proxy for a transcended physical reality. A place where matter is rendered translucent and blurred. A place where durations merge into singular moments. Combined with the endless possibilities of post-production, photography itself becomes an idiosyncratic and expansive space for the imagination – a “superspace”. A divine space where time does not matter.

In Numen, alignments and installations are made to exist only within this superspace. Explicit representations of the supernatural are projected by the myth-producing imagination onto the photograph that presents reality. This manifestation of ancient meanings and symbols from the margins of our collective unconscious allows us to rediscover the ancients.

numen: a spiritual force or influence often identified with a natural object, phenomenon or place

City Kansanen

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