PutPut is a Swiss/Danish group based in Copenhagen, who is redefining the perception of common situations of everyday life and objects. Trying to fill the space between input and output, as they call it, they combine photography with sculpture, art installations and publishing, with the purpose of surprising the audience by transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.
The two artists met through a mutual friend only two years ago, and after discovering that they have common interests and that ideas were naturally generated, they decided to start PutPut.
Ideas just seemed to grow effortlessly through conversations and at one point we decided to start realizing some of those ideas. The type of art that we do is a natural consequence of our interests, visual expression and you could say that it’s a product of where our minds meet.
Rather than a new approach to art, the group tries to bring the focus on objects that usually do not receive the deserved appreciation. Inspired by so many influences and movements, like pop art, surrealism, object trouve, and even advertising and material culture, the group considers itself as not belonging to any type of art. Defining themselves as “a cross breed or possibly even the bastard child of all these genres and influences”, they are open to experiment and mix all of these influences without putting a label on the whole process.
We try to bring forward and appreciate objects or situations associated with everyday life because we believe they hold a genuine aesthetic quality that often goes unnoticed. We hope that this will lead to an appreciation of the stuff we surround ourselves with and that we contribute by turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. We would prefer not to belong to a certain type of art at this stage it gives us the opportunity and freedom to venture into other disciplines.
The only intention of the artists is to make the viewer stop for a moment and reflect on the meaning and perception of a seemingly simple but meaningful images. In their images, they want the audience to identify different views than what the eye initially perceives:
The single most important reaction we hope to achieve from the viewer is surprise. We hope that the viewer will do a double take when they encounter our work. We are constantly flooded with imagery in our daily lives and simply prompting a person to look twice would qualify as a success for us.
Although at first glance PutPut may seem as fans of still life photography, they consider photography as the most convenient way to transmit their ideas. They experiment with different types of photography and techniques throughout their creative process, a somehow lengthy process in which tons of ideas are generated.
We don’t have a favorite style of photography as such, we use photography simply because it’s the media that lends itself best to documenting our ideas. Having said that we do pay a lot of attention to how we use photography to make sure that it lives up to the quality in expression we hope to reach. We will surely tackle other genres and we have projects planned that explore a variety of different techniques some based in photography, others in sculpture, installation and publishing.
Finding the desired objects and arranging them in the appropriate setting can take a lot of time, and although the group has everything planned beforehand, reaching the result requires some experimentation. From generating the idea, to arriving to the final image, this is how they work:
Well, firstly we talk a lot about things which seems to generate ideas, also we try to eliminate a hierarchy of ideas treating all ideas, be it big or small, with equal attention. Most of the projects that we do require the sourcing and acquisition of objects, which is time-consuming. Once all things needed are in place we start to play around with them, rearranging, reconfiguring and combining them differently until we arrive at a desired result. We spend quite a lot of time in the studio shooting the work and all aspects of the shoot are planned in detail beforehand. We sometimes repeat the photo shoot to correct things we are not completely satisfied with, this is done in an effort to reduce post production and retouch to a minimum.
The future holds lots of important events for the PutPut group. From exhibitions, to photo series and publications, they are exposing their creations to the art world and are curious of their reactions. Sharing Thomas Disch’s view that “creativity is the ability to see relationships where none exist”, the phrase perfectly captures their entire vision of their art, as the group manages to create meaning where sometimes we see none.
We are doing our first solo exhibition at Galleri Naboløs in Copenhagen which opens on the 24. August 2012. Being represented by a gallery is an important step for us and we are extremely excited to see how our work will be received. Also we have two small publications coming out in the near future and there are several photographic series near completion. We are also entering the three dimensional realm and anticipate that we will have an exhibition with our sculpture based work in the coming months.
For the latest news from the PutPut group, check out their Facebook page.
All photos are courtesy of Putput