In his exhibition The Voice of Objects, Ville Kumpulainen explores the boundaries of photography. Pictorial spaces consisting of sculptures and collages open up atypical communication between words and commodities. Furthermore, challenging notions of the expected is relayed by shifting the meaning of familiar items and images through the titles of the artworks. The playful and lyrical works lure the viewer to an imaginative and timeless world, where anything is possible.
The exhibition on view at Hippolyte Studio consists of black-and-white prints, and sculptures. Inspired by conceptual art, Kumpulainen is interested in the relationships between pictures, text, and three-dimensional form. He builds spaces and corners within the images, which further construct an imaginary stage. In these “rooms”, various physical items, and photos of objects, establish an enigmatic volume inside the two-dimensional space of the photograph.
In his work, Kumpulainen uses books, photographs, and ephemera discovered in flea markets, antique shops, and dumpsters. He is fascinated by the uncontrollability of these found materials—reminding him of storms or other incidental forces of nature that may, by chance, bring together strange, detached, and distant things. The works are created by mixing analogue and digital material processes. Each of his images brilliantly obscure notions of authenticity—as the collected objects lose their purpose, essence, and predictable scale. Over several years, Kumpulainen thoughtfully collected fragments of sentences from magazines and books, which he then later attributes to the objects and things as their kind of voice. Surprising and perhaps illogical ways of thinking take on visual form through a meticulous selection process which narrows down an innumerable amount of artistic choices for these visual assemblages.
Ville Kumpulainen is a Helsinki-based photographer who examines various visual realities through photograms, words, objects, and archival images. In his previous series of works (Out of Sight I and Out of Sight II, 2015–2018), Kumpulainen examined our unstable relationship with the past, and made use of photographs to fashion a speculative history for our present. The process laid the groundwork for the photographic book Out of Sight, published in 2017 by German publisher Hatje Cantz. Kumpulainen graduated with a master’s degree in photography from Aalto University in 2019. Since 2014, he has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. In 2019, Kumpula was awarded the CHART Art Fair’s Artproof Award and held two solo exhibitions of Eye and Idea at Persons Projects gallery in Berlin and Kunsthalle in Turku. www.villekumpulainen.com
The Finnish Cultural Foundation’s Uusimaa Regional Fund and the Finnish Art Society have kindly supported the artist’s work. The realisation of the exhibition is generously sustained by the Arts Promotion Centre’s National Council for Visual Arts.
The Voice of Objects
Open: Tue-Fri 12-17 (Sat-Sun closed in July)
image: Ville Kumpulainen, Behind the Curtains, 2020