Pieter Hugo
Saturday, May 23, 2009
2009 Winner of the Discovery Award

Pieter Hugo
_South Africa
Born in 1976 in South Africa were he lives and works.


Hugo created the series, The Hyena and Other Men, while travelling in Nigeria with a troupe of animal charmers and their collection of tenuously domesticated hyenas, monkeys and snakes. The portraits feature groupings of man and animal surrounded by the barren urban centers of Nigeria. Captured during quiet moments between the spectacle of street performances, the photographs possess a stillness that subverts the tense physicality of animals and their trainers. Indeed, the complexity of the animal-trainer relationships - nuanced with struggles of power, ownership and affection - is fully at the surface of the work.


The Wild Honey Collectors series emerged from a period Pieter Hugo spent with a collective of workers in the forests of Ghana. Enshrined in cassava branches and plastic to protect themselves from stings, the men go about the process of smoking out the bees in order to leave the honey unattended. In these portraits, the costumed figures amid the lushness of the forests possess a theatricality that exotically distracts from the exigency of their pursuit.


Exhibition presented at the Grande Halle.

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