Possibilities of the future, realities from the past featured in PhotoNews

Photonews brings an article about Funch’s works Possibilities of the Future – Realities of the Past, after they discovered the series at the last Paris Photo in November 2023 in the booth of V1 Gallery. They describe the experience of first seeing the tableau of black and white images as: “Rather quiet in the hustle and bustle of the trade fair, but which developed a special power upon closer inspection and in the context of the current wars”.

Alongside images of the works they bring a short text by Florian Ebner, head of the photography department at the Center Pompidou in Paris:

“Possibilities of the Future – Realities of the Past is what the Danish artist Peter Funch called his series of bunkers that he has photographed along the Atlantic Wall in recent years. But in contrast to many artistic works of the past 60 years about these relics of German megalomania – conceived by young modern engineers and builders and built largely by forced laborers to defend “Fortress Europe” in World War II – Funch does not maintain their external shape. Not only does he not see the different types of this war architecture, but he goes inside it, appropriates its original perspective and looks out at the vastness of the Atlantic. Funch always presents this view in the picture in the same way, so that the concrete architecture serves as a frame and the the horizon of the sea cuts through exactly the middle of the picture.

When Paul Virilio began recording the preserved reinforced concrete cubes along the French Atlantic coast in 1958 for his later “Bunker Archaeology”, he limited himself to their external typology. But despite this fundamental difference, Funch’s series makes Virilio think, at least of his conclusions from the study with the Atlantic Wall: Modern warfare and ballistic weapons have not only changed our idea of overcoming large spaces, modern war always has to do with questions of visibility. The military development of a wide variety of optical systems often precedes their civilian nutiking, the drones are just the latest example”

– Our translation of an except of Florian Ebner’s text for Photonews.

Alongside images of the works they bring a short text by Florian Ebner, head of the photography department at the Center Pompidou in Paris:

“Possibilities of the Future – Realities of the Past is what the Danish artist Peter Funch called his series of bunkers that he has photographed along the Atlantic Wall in recent years. But in contrast to many artistic works of the past 60 years about these relics of German megalomania – conceived by young modern engineers and builders and built largely by forced laborers to defend “Fortress Europe” in World War II – Funch does not maintain their external shape. Not only does he not see the different types of this war architecture, but he goes inside it, appropriates its original perspective and looks out at the vastness of the Atlantic. Funch always presents this view in the picture in the same way, so that the concrete architecture serves as a frame and the the horizon of the sea cuts through exactly the middle of the picture.

When Paul Virilio began recording the preserved reinforced concrete cubes along the French Atlantic coast in 1958 for his later “Bunker Archaeology”, he limited himself to their external typology. But despite this fundamental difference, Funch’s series makes Virilio think, at least of his conclusions from the study with the Atlantic Wall: Modern warfare and ballistic weapons have not only changed our idea of overcoming large spaces, modern war always has to do with questions of visibility. The military development of a wide variety of optical systems often precedes their civilian nutiking, the drones are just the latest example”

– Our translation of an except of Florian Ebner’s text for Photonews.