“In my work I consider forms of social representation and the processes of social acceptance or of marginalisation to which different individuals or groups are linked. (…) I pick up certain forms of symbolic politics and transform them in a way that their implicit violence or their underlying desire is turned visible.” Peggy Buth, 2020
About the artist
Peggy Buth limits herself neither to a specific medium, nor to a narrow understanding of art. Rather, she examines the representational systems of art, literature, politics, history and the sciences in relation to what gets repressed, as well as what unintentionally comes to light in them. She works with photography and video; uses tar, shellac or carpets for her pictures; works with found materials, language and sound; produces objects, sculptures and installations.
Peggy Buth’s artistic approach is conceptual and process-related. Her modular work groups are often preceded by in-depth, long-term research and research phases. Buth then subjects the collected material to an intensive, inter-disciplinary and intermedia editing process – photography, video, film, sound collage, performance, assemblage, graphics stand side by side on an equal footing and are brought together within complex room installations or smaller, more closely related ensembles.
Peggy Buth’s work follows the tradition of critical documentary art, as practiced by Hans Haacke and Harun Farocki. One of her core interests lies in the causes of different forms of exclusion; she raises questions about the meaning of solidarity and empathy, about the history and memory of emancipatory movements and their defeat in the wake of (de)industrialisation and globalisation. Yet Buth does not deliver critical visual essays with a message – her works are reports of a stopover, a path of orbit, through which the artist herself engages, surveying her own role in the process and bringing her own capacity for agency into play.
“(…) Under these—post-documentary—conditions, how might the meaning of solidarity and empathy, the meaning of the history and the memory of emancipatory movements and self-empowerment, be perpetuated, and how might their diffusion in the course of (de)industrialization and globalization be countered? How can the idea of a utopia be recaptured?” Reinhard Braun, Camera Austria, 2019
Katalog – Desire in RepresentationIn her group of works »Desire in Representation« Peggy Buth explores the construction of meaning and identity in colonialism. For an exhibition at Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart Buth presented the publication as a multi-media installation. »Katalog« documents and translates the spatial situation and the video pieces presented at the exhibition into an adequate form for print, the result is a catalogue of the different forms of representation of the artistic material.
Buth, Peggy: Desire in Representation pt1&2 _ Travelling through the Musee Royale / Index (Register) / O My Kaluluartist book, 2 volumes, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, 2008
RecallEd.: Soro Text: Susanne Holschbach Leipzig 2003