The Hero Mother – How to build a house
di Peter Puklus
It begins with some pre-established topos: man builds his home, shapes the earth, and uses his ingenuity to forge nature and transform it into technology. It is a poetic myth, which sits outside of time and history, a naked hero facing the challenges of survival to put a roof over his family’s head and ensure the reproduction of the species. The path seems bound in socially predetermined dynamics – inevitable; a synthesis of role and gender clichés. Then the path slowly veers in another direction. A woman appears, a mother with child, but she is also an architect. The roof and foundations are the naked bodies of infants. And from here, the figure of the mother – the enormous challenge of the family, the walk of the man towards satisfying his needs – transforms into a torturous psychotic path, where tools and bodies, bricks and plants, pipes and hammers and muscles lose their shape and function, and become the march of man into a cacophony of the subconscious. In the end, man the builder and engineer returns to his ordained role, he is well dressed and at his desk, but in his eyes we can see the grotesque, the ironic, the deep senseless, dreamlike reality of human identity, forged in this crazy workshop: the family. The work of Peter Puklus, with which he won the Grand Prix Images Vevey 2017/2018, was reworked for Gibellina PhotoRoad, guides the visitor on a surrealistic voyage in search of their origins.
Text by Arianna Catania
Peter Puklus is an artist currently living and working in Budapest, Hungary. He studied photography at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest (MOME) and new media design at the École National Supérieur de Création Industriel (ENSCI) in Paris. Currently he is enrolled in the Doctoral School of MOME. In 2012 Puklus published two photo-books: One and a half meterwith Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg and Handbook to the Stars with Stokovec, Banská Stiavnica. In 2016 Puklus published his third photobook The Epic Love Story of a Warrior in cooperation with Self Publish, Be Happy, London. This title got shortlisted at the Aperture / Paris Photo Photobook Award 2016. Recent solo exhibitions of Puklus include Life is Techno at Trafó Gallery, Budapest, New Works at Conrads Gallery, Düsseldorf, Unsafe to Dance in C/O Berlin, Berlin, One and a half meter in Robert Morat Gallery, Berlin and The Epic Love Story of a Warrior at Capa Center, Budapest and Raster Gallery, Hungary. The most recent and still on-going project of Puklus entitled The Hero Mother – How to build a house received Grand Prix Images Vevey 2017–2018. Related recent exhibitions are The Hero Mother – How to build a house in Images Festival, Vevey, and The Hero Mother – Subtitle at Glassyard Gallery, Budapest, Hungary.
His recent projects involve sculptures, objects, paintings, installa- tions, drawings and videos. Puklus is represented by Glassyard Gallery in Budapest, by Robert Morat Gallery in Berlin and Hamburg, by Conrads Gallery in Düssel- dorf and by Folia Gallery in Paris.