Swiss artist Peter Hauser (b.1981) once again teams up with Sturm & Drang for the publication of his long awaited second monograph, ANGST, a series of powerful black and white photographs addressing the anxieties of the 21st century world.
In light of a changing world order we currently face, the publication of ANGST comes as an awakening. The book acts as a mirror that allows us to assess and reflect on the world we inhabit. Every image, beautiful, harshly ragged, offers an underlying reference to contemporary issues which the artist challenges the individual viewer with. As consumerism, trade, globalisation and travel are all being abruptly disrupted, humanity is being questioned. A global existential crisis faces our species and ANGST is a visual accompaniment to our common internal struggle, a diagnosis of the political and societal zeitgeist.
The photographs were taken between 2017 and 2020 on black and white negative film with diverse medium format cameras. The genesis of the project came about when Hauser found himself facing an existential crisis on multiple levels; as an artist, as a human being and as an observer of the environment surrounding him. Hauser was increasingly concerned with the effects of climate change, capitalism and the loss of human individuality. This prompted him to explore themes in nature and infrastructure as well as experimenting with composed still lives. Hauser’s oeuvre flows with ease between soft organic lines and meandering shadows, juxtaposed with rough, jagged almost mundane compositions. Throughout, the images are deserted of human protagonists, save for several ghostlike references to their supposed presence. ANGST is a duel between society’s hunger to consume, to seek novelty, to indulge in material pleasures, to manifest its dominance versus nature’s tireless necessity to regenerate. There is an order to the chaos, a beauty to the pain. ANGST is Hauser’s own interpretation of the circumstances around him, which he invites the viewer to critique. It is a journey of an artist who is constantly seeking, questioning, not only society, politics and universal dogmas, but also the dark, stirring, unexplored corners of his own being.
While the book is printed on 100% recycled paper, the designer and the artist intentionally chose to encapsulate the book in iridescent PVC film. This represents the ultimate contradiction between the surface and what lies beneath. The book opens with a text by curator, photo critic and Director of the Photoforum Pasquart, Danaé Panchaud.
1st edition 2020
500 copies, Softcover, iridescent PVC film jacket
317 x 247 mm 120 pages
58 analog black and white photographs
Design by Enea Toldo
Editing by Enea Toldo & Peter Hauser
Printed in tritone on 100% recycled paper