Babel Tales Addendum marks an end and a beginning. Peter Funch's four year long exploration of the streets of New York has reached its conclusion and the exhibition unveils the result: 41 monumental panoramic works.
The pictorial symphony Babel Tales forms a landmark in Peter Funch's artistic career. The series consolidates his almost anthropological ability to create patterns in the world's haphazardness. Simultaneously this exhibition emphasizes his desire to challenge the beholder's notion of "reality" and "fiction".
Babel Tales focus on human relations and interaction in a metropolis. Through repetition and juxtaposition Funch investigates human similarities and collective behavior, creating a strange, poetic and detailed picture of our presence as both individuals and communities in the public sphere. His uncanny works raise questions of reality contra fiction, and they challenge the notion of photography as being a depiction of a certain moment in time. Funch's works are documents of moments that never existed, as they are composed of thousands of frozen moments taken over the duration of several weeks for each work. By shooting at the exact same position over a period of time, Funch is able to superimpose images, and he hereby creates a fictional work based on documentary photography.
This is illustrated in the work 'Observing Observers', where a crowd in a street in unison orient themselves towards a certain location outside the frame of the picture. As the title of the picture implies the viewer beholds a group of observers, but it is uncertain what these observers are observing. Upon reflection one understands, however, that it is also uncertain what oneself is observing? Since the preliminary exhibition Babel Tales, consisting of 16 works, appeared at V1 Gallery's smaller space in Absalonsgade, 2007, both Peter Funch and the gallery has moved on to conquer new territory. But the fascination with art and its ability to capture and challenge life remains the same. In addition, Babel Tales Addendum allows us to peek into the artist's laboratory with a series of new works exploring different perspectives of the Babel Tales series. The new Addendum works reflect Funch's curiosity for the stories he finds and the stories he creates. Same curiosity is both the origin and the catalyst for the project.
The title, Babel Tales, is a reference to the story of the Babel Tower, and it also pays homage to the writer Paul Auster and his New Yorker stories City of Glass and Auggie Wren's Christmas Story.
Peter Funch, 1974, was born in a small town in a rural area of Denmark. He has lived and worked in New York City for the past five years. A new commissioned series of large-scale works "Danish Diaries" will be unveiled at the Danish Pavilion, designed by Bjarke Ingels (BIG), for EXPO 2010 in Shanghai. If you find yourself in Copenhagen in May, you can experience several of the Danish Diaries works in public spaces as part of the Copenhagen Photo Festival. Last summer Funch was chosen as artist of the year for the prestigious Dutch public art project Dream Amsterdam. He also received Palle Fogtdals Photo Prize in Denmark.
Special edition prints will be available for $500.