A guide to the New East
Photography

The rest is history: an artist meditates on the past

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Hungarian artist Peter Puklus’ photo story The Epic Love Story of a Warrior is a semi-fictional exploration of history, pain, collective memory and the body, through an imagined central European family, based in part on his own kin. Although Puklus’ gaze is directed at the past, his main aim is to get over it. “I would like to help people close the book called the 20th century,” he says. “Its history is usually presented horizontally, as a battle between left and right. But I think that the real opposition is vertical. Some people have to understand this to be able to see what is happening at the moment and where it leads if they remain silent.” The project is executed in Puklus’ signature interdisciplinary style, effortlessly mixing staged images alongside photographs of architecture and of his own sculptures. “I always like to introduce myself as an artist who mostly uses the medium of photography,” he says. “In my vision it is not the medium which matters but the idea. If you have something to say you’ll have to find the best way to say it. As soon as you start studying what happens before and after the photograph was shot, as soon as you are not totally satisfied with the wooden frame with a picture in it as the only way to represent your message, the ‘story’, ‘connectivity’, ‘three-dimensional’ and all the other stuff will come on stage naturally.”

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