The project “Small Worlds” is far from being mere photographic satire. Instead, Kunert has spent weeks, sometimes even months, working with deco boards, plasticine and paint, in order to model his thoughts in 3D. With an exceptional eye for detail, he has constructed faultless models, and created scenes that look just like the real thing. Kunert never flicks on his studio lights and reaches for his large-format camera until he feels that his models have reached a state of perfection — until they have become little worlds of their own.
And, it is true, these intricate models could very well stand on their own. But by taking photographs of them, the complexity of these elaborately staged worlds (as well as the intended visual illusion they create) is made manifest. For Kunert, photo montage and computer animation do not come into question. He has no interest in getting fast results, or of achieving a perfect high-gloss surface. In his mind, it is not only perfectly acceptable that viewers of his large prints can detect that these are pictures taken of models; they should actually be aware of this fact. The “analogue look” of his photographs is intentional — Kunert’s answer to digitalization is creating images of the tangible.
Frank Kunert’s “Small Worlds” are, in their symbiosis of idea, image and caption, just as multi-dimensional as excellently-crafted written narratives. On the surface, these photographs confront us with all of the hollow words, catchphrases and banalities we encounter in our daily lives. The stereotypical and senseless aspects of human communication cannot be unveiled more convincingly than in their literal conversion into a visual medium. Kunert deliberately oscillates between humor, wit, scurrility and the grotesque. If, indeed, “Life goes on,” then, there is no question about it, it is only with the continued delivery of one’s daily paper and mail. The tombstone will, of course, need a mailbox and a doorbell, and Mr. Kunert has naturally taken both into account.
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