Peter Buggenhout

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Peter Buggenhout
The Blind Leading The Blind #26, 2008
Mixed media and disposable material covered with household dust
134.5 x 166 x 150 cm

At first glance, Peter Buggenhout’s large fuzzy masses, seemingly covered in thick layers of dust, look like readymade objects, rubble found in the aftermath of a building site, an archaeological dig, or at the scene of a cataclysm – an earthquake, explosion or other force of violent destruction (natural disasters or terrorist attacks?).
Consider his series entitled The Blind Leading the Blind (2008) and Gorgo (2005), charred rotting hulks bearing traces of what looks like steel building beams jutting from concrete fragments. Or Eskimo Blue (1999), which recalls the sun-bleached remains of a prehistoric creature of unknown dimensions, preserved as if for classification in a museum cabinet. Uncomfortably ‘real’, but dissected and presented for study by future generations.

Peter Buggenhout
The Blind Leading The Blind #21, 2007
Household dust, hair, wood, polyurethane, foam, aluminium, polyester, polystyrene
117 x 105 x 184 cm

In fact, this and Buggenhout’s other works are incredibly realistic renderings, carefully made in the artist’s studio but suggesting unidentifiable ruins. In confusing viewers, Buggenhout’s sculpture raises questions around the subjects artists choose as their models and the strong influence of projection on the way art is perceived.
The objects here intimate the theme of the ‘ruin’ that surfaces through art history, but in its more direct and subversive mood. These works convey an organic, blurred relationship between representation and abstraction that breaks down perceived assumptions about the way objects are classified and understood.

Peter Buggenhout
Eskimo Blues II (and 2 details), 1999
Treated cow stomach
100 x 145 x 75

But what appears to be there upon first looking remains a lingering presence that the viewer cannot entirely ignore. “I consider my works as analogies. All these analogies bear the consoling thought that they were created by human hands, that they are viable and bring viability that is hardly, if at all, bearable into a chilled, inhumanly large world. These analogies do not operate within the standard artistic norm because they do not intend to pass judgment, preach or pass on emotions. They simply are, there is more than meets the eye, after all.”

Peter Buggenhout
Gorgo #4 (and 4 details), 2005
Blood, pigment, iron, wood, paper, glass
83 x 148 x 92 cm

Peter Buggenhout
Gorgo #14, 2007
Horse hair, blood, polyester, epoxy, polyurethane, iron, aluminium
126.5 x 162 x 88 cm



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