Out of Sight



This was a childhood where physical contact and empathy were the exception rather than the rule. Left with unanswered questions, confusion and nebulous areas, Ville Kumpulainen’s unstable relation with his past makes him deconstruct and rewrite his family history. Over the past ten years, he has collected and hoarded his family’s archives hoping that it may fill his emotional gaps. Through his carefully composed images, he delves deep into hidden and subconscious memories in an attempt to make visible what has gone “out of sight”.

According to Maurice Blanchot’s philosophy, a pause is necessary in any discussion. He also said that words enable us to build and envisage the future. Ville Kumpulainen’s photographs fill these pauses between past and present. Like words, each of his pictures creates a visual sentence and together they form a conversation. Rather than saturated with elements, the artist’s memory is instead dotted with empty areas. The tactile aspect of his photographs helps him to fill these up. When a feeling or an impression is too abstract to express with words, we instinctively turn to metaphors.

About the artist

Ville Kumpulainen was born in 1988, and lives and works in Helsinki in Finland. In 2019, he completed a Master’s in photography at the Art University of Aalto in Helsinki. He has taken part in several group exhibitions, including “Dark Room” at the Finnish Museum of Photography in 2015 and the private exhibition “Persons Projects” at the Helsinki School Gallery in 2019. His book Out of Sight was published in 2017 by Hatje Cantz.