May 2017

Featured Artist

Ville Kansanen

The Procession of Spectres

“…the permanent-seeming self is actually an endless procession of disjointed moments.” – Jonah Lehrer, Proust was a Neuroscientist

The Procession of Spectres engages with vast landscapes to examine the fragmentary nature of the human condition and the emergence of self.

The images are from a period where I experienced an awakening from a psychological disappearance due to a long period of depression. I had forgotten the very basics of who I was, which was reinforced by a strong sense of isolation. Instead of becoming emotionally paralyzed I was able to transform the experience into an investigation into the transitional nature of the experiential self. My interest in neuroscience — particularly theories on the self, the mind and consciousness — strongly informed my approach.

I think of the photograph as a liminal space for consciousness, natural evolution and emotions — an inscape* in an infinite state of transformation.


*Inscape is a concept derived by Gerard Manley Hopkins from the ideas of the medieval philosopher Duns Scotus. Hopkins felt that everything in the universe was characterized by what he called inscape, the distinctive design that constitutes a dynamic individual identity. For Roberto Matta, 20th century Chilean surrealist, inscape meant expressing internal experiences within landscape.

Ville Kansanen was born in Espoo, Finland in 1984. Although an autodidact, he briefly studied photography in the Glasgow School of Art before moving to the United States to pursue a career as an artist in 2008.

In 2013, he produced a series of conceptual photographic works titled The Procession of Spectres, garnering exhibitions and publication internationally. In 2015, he won the International Photography Award as Fine Art Photographer of the year and won a Lucie Award for Discovery of the Year.

Kansanen’s work combines surrealism with elements of the personal. Drawing from and inspired by current neuroscientific discoveries and theories the visual narratives delve into the psychological, personal and autobiographical. He is represented by galerie hiltawsky in Berlin, Germany.

He lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.

villekansanen.com