Villiam Miklos Andersen
Rock Hard Milk
curated by
Gabriele Tosi
Serre di Rapolano - fraz. di Rapolano Terme (SI), Toscana

A few decades ago, at the entrance to the village there was a small dairy shop, and still today on the door you can see traces of an old hand-painted sign. This is just one of the many stores in the old centre that closed its shutters a long time ago.
Removing the door-frame and window frame from the masonry, Villiam Miklos Andersen brought the dairy shop back into operation, in the form of a freely-accessible space. In its new configuration, the venue is open to the public for the whole summer, at any time of day and night. From inside, a new neon sign emits light, both foreign and familiar, into the street, and it gives a cyclamen colour to the village’s nights. The text Rock Hard Milk expresses the almost maternal affection that unites the community of Serre di Rapolano and travertine. The village was built using this sedimentary rock made of compressed calcium, and much of the area’s identity and wealth is based on working this stone.
When you enter the space, you can smell the fresh, rustic scent of cedar and cypress emanating from the sculptures, entirely made of wood that the artist produced with a local sawmill. Two exact copies of one of the slot machines with stools, at Roby’s Bar – the venue on the provincial road that has become the meeting-place for the Serre community – reproduce the machine, replacing its electronic sensuality with a naturally carnal intrigue. In this way, the installation offers a sensorial experience that differs from the original, stimulating reflections on the dynamics of the individual and collective handling of desire in the specific village context.
The romantic image of a new dairy shop, where you can sit on a stool and experience the village’s scent and listen to its voices, is at the heart of the project that Miklos Andersen developed in Serre di Rapolano. Working on the borders separating public and private, his work is intended as a way of encompassing the village’s complexity in the present, seen from a viewpoint of disorientation and tenderness.

Villiam Miklos Andersen, Rock Hard Milk, 2024. Neon sign, 142 x 42 cm.
Via Fratelli Rosselli, 13

02. Villiam Miklos Andersen, Medusa’s Quest, 2024. Cypress wood, three elements, 178 x 45 x 41 cm; 80 x ⌀ 35 cm each.
Via Fratelli Rosselli, 13

03. Villiam Miklos Andersen, Medusa’s Golden Gaze, 2024. Cedar wood, three elements, 178 x 45 x 41 cm; 80 x ⌀ 35 cm each.
Via Fratelli Rosselli, 13

In a former dairy shop, the installation explores Serre’s past and present objects of desire: while the neon echoes the town's roots in travertine — formed over millennia from compressed calcium — the slot machine sculptures evoke the region’s essence with the scent and feel of cypress and cedar.

Villiam Miklos Andersen (Kalundborg, Denmark, 1995) graduated from the Hochschule für Bildende Künste - Städelschule in Frankfurt in 2021 in the class of Judith Hopf and from the Jutland Art Academy in Aarhus in 2020. His artistic practice is influenced by an interest in logistics and the working modalities of post-industrial society, particularly how personal and private spheres are intertwined and informed by systems dictated by economic logic. His work depicts real experiences within vast networks of systems and practices devoted to efficiency. In his recent projects, the artist reflects on work contexts marked by male prevalence and proposes a queer perspective that explores the potential for sensitivity, romanticism, and care. He won the G+G Art Award Nord (DE, 2023), the Aros Art Prize (DK, 2020), and was selected for the Ars Viva Art Prize (DE, 2022). Recent exhibitions include: Area of Common Interests at 1Shanthiroad, Bangalore (IN, 2024); November Simulacra, Beijing (CN, 2023); The Pawn Shop at documenta fifteen, Kassel (DE, 2022); Proof That This Is a Home at Frankfurter Kunstverein (DE, 2022); Going Nowhere at Spoiler Zone, Berlin (DE, 2021); Umsteigemöglichkeit at Kunsthal Aarhus (DK, 2020). His work is part of institutional collections such as those of the X Museum in Beijing and the Herbert Gerisch-Stiftung in Neumünster, Germany. In November 2024, he will open his first major solo exhibition at O—Overgaden in Copenhagen.

In my current research, I am exploring concepts of relationships, desire, and the transience of male-dominated work environments, primarily in the logistics industry. As a queer person, who grew up in a rural environment, I have always pondered the disproportionate recognition of different types of work based on social class and context. As a sculptor, I engage with these themes and their related contradictions.

Serre di Rapolano - fraz. di Rapolano Terme (SI)

Situated on a hilltop in the Crete Senesi hills, Serre di Rapolano is a charming walled medieval village that is part of the municipality of Rapolano Terme.
Founded as a castle in Byzantine times, the village was a feud of the Cacciaconti family and later became a rural municipality under the rule of Siena. During the Sienese domination, the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala was authorised to use part of the ancient imperial palace, built at the time of Barbarossa, as a fortified warehouse, which gave rise to the term “Grancia” (grange). The building, now a museum, is one of the most important palazzi in the village, and it is part of the Fondazione Musei Senesi group of museums. Equally important are the Gori Martini palazzo, the neoclassical Teatrino, one of the smallest in the world, dating back to the early 17th century, and the church of Sant'Andreino, a Romanesque construction located in a scenic area.
The surrounding landscape is notable for its quarries for travertine marble, which has always been used for buildings in the village and further afield, and which is still pivotally important for the area's activities.
In May, the village comes alive with the medieval re-enactment in honour of “Ciambragina,” the beautiful bride of a rich Sienese merchant in the 14th century, originally from Cambrai, who lived in Serre as mistress of the castle. During this celebration, the alleys are filled with jesters, musicians and dancers who, together with the villagers, recreate a snapshot of medieval life.

Thanks to: Mayor Alessandro Starnini, Councillor Giulia Russo, President of Pro Loco Serremaggio Francesco Croci, the activator Marco Galluzzi, Giuliano Civitelli, Sara Di Crescenzio, Giuliano Faenzi, Elisa Forzoni, Stefano Giuri, Oskar Fehlauer Nielsen, Gabriele Pierli, Mauro Quinci.