When reading the David Campany's essay about Robert Cumming I took notes about the some artists he refers to in the context of the experimental and conceptual legacy of Cumming's practice: Anne Hardy and Peter Puklus. I have never come across their works before.
"Anne Hardy produces large-scale photographs of constructed interiors, which she creates using found objects and everyday materials. These unsettling spaces show the recent aftermath of ambiguous activities or events, but the occupants are always absent from the picture." Helen Sumpter, Time Out
The constructed place filled with objects and their arrangement which doesn't resemble the expected utilitarian attributes of home, office, institution etc. is an amazing idea. It is a place where the forms can exist free from acquired meanings and functions.
Puklus is one of those artists whose practices are so diverse that it is really hard to describe they works in a few sentences. It seems to be quite characteristic to young generation of artists whose conceptual and experimental approaches reflect somehow the impatience of contemporary life.
It is worth though to make an effort and try to understand what the specific projects are about and find that core characteristics of they way of seeing, thinking and making images.
Puklus's approach is conceptual and eclectic. He is photographing various subjects to illustrate the concept - the single photograph is usually only a component of the story he wants to tell. The photobook seems to be his favourite, and very effective, channel for dissemination those heterogeneous and miltidisciplinary concepts. He published so far three photobooks, all pretty succesful.
"Handbook to the Stars" is one of them. I like the very casual and open idea of images with some connections not clear even for the author. Images which 'follow their own pattern'. It is good to remind myself that the idea to do something interesting can be sometimes very elusive but if it is important enough for author - that's all what is needed. It is enough to create a project which in a form of a adequately designed photobook for example can be intriguing and significant.
Handbook to the Stars
"There is a reason why Peter Puklus’ first publication is called Handbook to the Stars, a subtle manifesto of his Ars Poetica. With this handbook he attempts to portray his own universe and provide insight into how his photographic works relate to each other: like galaxies in relative proximity to one another that are bound together by their own gravitational force. The images function alongside one another and through one another, have no sequence or chronology, but exist individually even as they form interconnections and follow their own patterns. Hence they do not necessarily fit on a page in this book; the imaginary distances keep the images in place. This implies that they may appear fragmented, sometimes small, sometimes large, precisely as they coexist in Puklus’ universe of images." (Claudia Küssel)
"The story of the endless capacity of human mind, how we are able to connect unrelated things together just because we want to understand our universe. The book has no single topic or theme: it contains still-lifes, city-scapes, portraits, interiors, nudes, etc. and it is up to your imagination how you connect them or which connection you follow. Finally, with the book installation I am proposing a solution, but it is not the only one." (Peter Puklus)
The Epic Love Story of a Warrior
"Puklus’ photographs are almost always inspired by an arbitrary and seemingly disparate constellation of sources. The images and sculptures in The Epic Love Story of a Warrior have been triggered by found pictures of historical events, memories, and objects. Retrieving these references, Puklus retreats into his studio, and transforms them into a visual language entirely his own. Here, he constructs a game of association for the reader. How much can he reduce the components of an image while we are still able to pinpoint the event it depicts?" www.peterpuklus.com
- Sumpter, Helen (2009) "In the studio with Anne Hardy" Time Out, London
- "A conversation with Peter Puklus", Conciousnes Photography Magazine
- Peter Puklus website