Sport 30: Peter Black-Real Fiction
You don't have to look too long and hard at ‘the real’ before it becomes unreal. Think of Eugene Atget's famous shopwindow of female torsos, Boulevard de Strasbourg, Corsets, Paris, 1912—an image subsequently co-opted by the Surrealists as one of their own. What of this strangeness, this disquiet, which also emerges from Peter Black's low-key scenarios? His ‘real fictions’ are fainter, subtler by far than the Freudian dystopias so beloved of Surrealism. (It is also worth stating that they are oblivious to the utopias of Modernism generally.) Yet his empty urban vistas and images reflected in shop-windows certainly hark back to the work of Atget and the Surrealists [see pp3, 5, 163, 165 for some examples]. This affinity with surrealist photography is also evident in his Joseph Cornell-like attraction to stuffed and painted animals and in the varying ways he imparts a sense of dislocation [pp79, 83]. While Peter's art is not one of distortion in the manner of Kertesz or Man Ray, the result can be strikingly similar. You only need to look at the ‘Sites’ series, with their x-ray vision into the walls and wiring of half-built houses. No dreams of escape, only dreams of being here.