3 Volumes set, 15% off
Frank Kunert Set contains three photobooks Topsy-Turvy World, Wonderland and Lifestyle.
A multistoried apartment building. Its plaster is grayish beige and exudes a kind of petit-bourgeois tristesse; it has the requisite carpeted balcony railings, the lone flower box, even the deckchair is there. A familiar view. It is only on second glance that we see that something is wrong. All of the balcony doors lead to nowhere, and in turn, the balconies themselves cannot be accessed.
German photographer Frank Kunert (1963 in Frankfurt/Main) has not uncovered any sort of architectural scandal. With Balcony is one of the works that sensitively and enigmatically turn familiar narrative contexts upside down and question reality itself. Far from being simply photographic satire, Kunert’s miniatures give three-dimensional form to puns on thoughts and words, making them tangible in the truest sense of the word. Kunert spends weeks constructing his model sets down to the smallest detail and then photographs them in his studio—in the process, creating the antithesis of worn and hackneyed concepts and ideas.
Something strange is going on in the photographs by Frank Kunert (1963 in Frankfurt am Main): the table set for two has been so cleverly built around a corner that neither of the diners has to see the other, yet they can both watch their own television. Or a desk has a built-in bed for the much-desired office nap. And the outdoor toilet is located further away than one might hope for in an emergency—namely, on the moon. Kunert, a model builder and photographer, creates images of this kind in weeks of painstaking attention to detail, lending expression to the grotesque outgrowths of civilized life that is as humorous and exhilarating as it is profound. The ambivalence between tragedy and humor piques the artist time and again and permeates his surreal-looking visual worlds in an inexhaustible variety of ways. Melancholy and skewed wit are closely related in this wonderland of absurdities—surprising and thought provoking.
Working slowing, consciously perceiving, precisely observing; in our increasingly fast-paced and abstract world, this type of working method seems to be more and more rare. Still, we know that the exception proves the rule. If Frank Kunert (1963 in Frankfurt am Main) did not have the patience and calm he exhibits in creating his miniature, stage settings—immortalized in photographs made with a large-format analog camera—his “small worlds” would lose the charm we’ve grown so fond of through his previous publications, Verkehrte Welt (Inverted world) and Wunderland. Here, the ordinary quickly reaches its limits and traverses beyond ad absurdum, while tragedy veers into comedy, and wit becomes debatable. Kunert’s works exist between the poles of grotesque and metaphysics. His new book, Lifestyle, adds twenty-four miniatures to these philosophically based stories of everyday life.