Ville Andersson: DESERT MUSIC

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Close your eyes and hear the song of the light:
Noon takes shelter in your inner ear

Close your eyes and open them:
There is nobody not even yourself
Whatever is not stone is light

From the poem Native Land by Octavio Paz

The piece of poetry by Octavio Paz has been an inspiration for me for the new series of works. The new series is built like a fragmented mosaic. Varied perspectives and works create an interdependent and connected web.

For me, the title of the series, Desert Music, reads as the muted beauty of the desert. I am drawn to barren open vistas. For me, the desert is like an abstraction - a place that feels at once pre- and post-historic. There are no distractions nor any statements in the desert - it simply exists. Yet, it is full of whispers that are subject to an endless fascination.

Emptiness can be seen as a spatial and visual equivalent of silence. The bare white surface is never the same in shifting light. For me, as the quote goes, seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees. Characteristic features of the works aesthetic are richness of nuance, attention, precision and understatement. Less is enough.

The desert light also has a ruthless quality. At high noon one can experience a feeling not only of momentary blindness but also a sense of disoriented placelessness. An influence on the series has been the composition Become Desert by John Luther Adams. In the chorus of the work only one word is sung out - Luz, Spanish for light.

I try to combine refinement of form with discrete emotive force. I hope gives the works a certain mental distance. As a gesture of politeness towards the spectator I want to allow them a space of one’s own. Silence is an experience of existing, through it we find ourselves listening to our own being.

- Ville Andersson

Ville Andersson's solo exhibition Desert Music is on view at Helsinki Contemporary 5.–28.2.2021