21 février 2017

Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg opens first institutional solo exhibition of photo artist Pieter Hugo in Germany

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 Pieter Hugo, WITH MY SON, JAKOB HUGO, NATURES VALLEY, AUS DER SERIE „KIN”, 2006-2013, 2014 c-print © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne

WOLFSBURG.- What divides us and what unites us? How do people of all colors live with the shadows of cultural repression or political dominance? The South African photographer Pieter Hugo (* 1976 in Johannesburg) explores these questions in his portraits, still lifes, and landscapes. 

After solo exhibitions at the Hague Museum of Photography, the Musée de l’Elysée Lausanne, Müpa Budapest, and the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson Paris, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg is the first museum in Germany to present a comprehensive overview of the series with which Pieter Hugo achieved recognition, for example “Looking aside”, “Kin”, “The Hyena & Other Men”, “Permanent Error”, “There’s a Place in Hell For Me and My Friends”, and “Nollywood” as well as his recent “1994”, “Rwanda 2004: Vestiges of a Genocide” and “Californian Wildflowers” projects. 

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Pieter Hugo, GREEN POINT COMMON, CAPE TOWN, AUS DER SERIE „KIN”, 2006-2013, 2013, c-print © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne

Raised in post-colonial South Africa, where he witnessed the official end of Apartheid in 1994, Hugo has a keen sense for social dissonances. He perceptively makes his way through all social classes with his camera, and not only in his native country but also in places like Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana, China and the United States. How do people of all age groups and from the most diverse origins deal with their historical baggage and living conditions? Pieter Hugo’s socio-cultural portraits record the visible traces and scars of lived biography as well as lived-through national history. He is particularly interested in social subcultures, the gulf between the ideal and reality. His pictures feature the homeless; albinos; AIDS sufferers; men who tame hyenas, snakes, and monkeys; people who gather electrical scrap metal in apocalyptic scenarios; costumed Nollywood actors in striking poses, in addition to his own family and friends.  

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Pieter Hugo, THOBA CALVIN AND TSHEPO CAMERON SITHOLE-MODISANE, PRETORIA, AUS DER SERIE „KIN”, 2006-2013, 2013, c-print © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne

His photographs are non-hierarchical; everyone is treated with the same amount of respect. More artist than anthropologist or documentarian, Hugo captures the “moment of voluntary vulnerability” (Pieter Hugo) with a pronouncedly detached, but at the same time also empathetic, concise visual language, creating in this way true to life portraits of powerful directness. In many cases, this humanity stands in sharp contrast to the hardships of the social reality engulfing the subjects of his pictures. Entirely in this sense, Pieter Hugo’s photographic still lifes and landscapes occasionally seem like social commentaries or metaphors, complementing his socio-cultural portraits.

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Pieter Hugo, ABDULLAHI MOHAMMED WITH MAINASARA, LAGOS, NIGERIA, AUS DER SERIE „THE HYENA & OTHER MEN”, 2005-2007, 2007, c-print © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne

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Pieter Hugo, EMEKA, MOTORCYCLIST AND ABDULLAHI AHMADU, ASABA, NIGERIA, AUS DER SERIE „THE HYENA & OTHER MEN”, 2005-2007, 2007, c-print © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne 

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 Pieter Hugo, THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE MOATLHODI MARUMO, AUS DER SERIE „JUDGES OF BOTSWANA”, 2005, lambda print © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne

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Pieter Hugo, ANNEBELLE SCHREUDERS (1), AUS DER SERIE „THERE'S A PLACE IN HELL FOR ME AND MY FRIENDS”, 2011-2012, 2012, platinum print, arches platine paper © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne

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Pieter Hugo, ASHLEIGH MCLEAN, AUS DER SERIE „THERE'S A PLACE IN HELL FOR ME AND MY FRIENDS”, 2011-2012, 2011, platinum print, arches platine paper © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne

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Pieter Hugo,  OBECHUKWU NWOYE, ENUGU, NIGERIA, AUS DER SERIE „NOLLYWOOD”, 2008-2009, 2008, c-print © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne 

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Pieter Hugo, PORTRAIT #1, RWANDA, AUS DER SERIE „1994”, 2014-2016, 2014, c-print  © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne

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Pieter Hugo, GUO FAMILY, BEIJING, AUS DER SERIE „FLAT NOODLE SOUP TALK”, 2015- 2016, c-print © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne

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Pieter Hugo, DEERSAN, BEIJING, AUS DER SERIE „FLAT NOODLE SOUP TALK”, 2015- 2016, c-print © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne

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Pieter Hugo, INSIDE ARCADIA PLACE OLD-AGE HOME, OBSERVATORY, AUS DER SERIE „KIN”, 2006-2013, 2013, c-print  © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne

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Pieter Hugo, IN SIPHO NTSIBANDE’S HOME, SOWETO, AUS DER SERIE „KIN”, 2006- 2013, 2013, c-print   © Pieter Hugo, Priska Pasquer, Cologne

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