Today we are sharing an isolation postcard from artist Peter Funch (DK), who is locked down in the south of France, in a small town called Bormes Les Mimosas, with his family, where he enjoys mellow rituals and mental actions: photograph, hike, collect, dine, read, listen to music, podcasts, meditate, and reflect on past, present and future. Read the interview and browse the intimate photographs from his corona virus confinement along selected works from his latest photo series below.
V1 Gallery: We know you are locked down in the south of France right now
Peter Funch: We are close to a small town called Bormes Les Mimosas in my wife Natalie’s father’s summer house. It is very quiet and almost no people around.
How do you spend your days?
Mornings I do homeschooling, office and emailing. Afternoons photographing in nature and around the house. We, the family do a daily hike to the top of the hill, collecting wood for the fireplace and flowers for the table on the way down. Evenings are very mellow with dinner, movies, reading, podcasts. We are trying to have rituals together and independently and talk a lot to friends and family around the world.
Are you allowed to be outside?
France has strict policy on outings, but I can walk in the nature behind the house, where I meet nobody.
Two of your acclaimed series, 42nd and Vanderbilt and Babel Tales, are based on observing human interaction in the streets of New York. In the light of what is happening right now, do you find new perspectives in the series?
When looking at it now, it seems as from another time. The flow and density of people looks like fiction. I would be curious to see the locations today.
For many, this is a time for reflection and mental action; any insights, meditations or peculiarities you want to let us in on; any reflections on life in lockdown mode you want to share with us?
In the light of a global catastrophic situation, this time is giving so much time to reflect on so many aspects.
There is not many distractions. One thought that has fascinated me in this period, is the idea of past, present and future. It has in my life never been more different to define than today. Maybe because of that pandemic has developed so quick and you read the news every day. When I think about what I did two months ago, my mindset at that time was so drastically different from how it is today. Two months ago is the past which is the normal before the outbreak and now this bubble that changes every day with with new thoughts, perspectives and realities. Future becomes even more undefined than ever. When UN chief Antonio Guterres says “corona virus is biggest global threat since WWII”, I am speculating on wether this event is a redefinition on globalisation, capitalism, totalitarian systems. The opposition between “democratic” and “authoritarian” types of society is now becoming less clear. Will I redefine my travel patterns? Will I have other needs after this? Will art be different? Will it be more online, and done with zoom and 5G?
A russian writer Lev Manovich wrote on his Facebook feed: “Looking at the news everyday, I have a feeling I am watching very well made science fiction TV series. The writing is amazing, very dark but also funny; they come up with great plot twists and incredible details. But of course, this is our new reality. As of today, science fiction literature as a genre may become even less important – which writer can now complete with this global un-reality un-folding in front of us?”
These days almost feel like very long mediation.
Peter Funch is included in the #quarantinestillife feature at artnet.com
For more information and available works from Peter Funch, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org