Elemer describes a world of chances and combinations, revolving around the manipulation of one central figure before his camera. We do not know who Elemer is – indeed, we do not need to know – and as we witness him moving and appearing before the camera he is sculpted, both gesturally and literally. His movements, in turn, elicit the witty, hallucinatory and strange from simple still lives, landscapes and portraits made in Hungary.
The Elemer began after starting to collect cigarette cards – the disposable objects of the early 20th century that contain on one side, a household tip, and on the other, an image. On first glance, the images look silly and nonsensical, but when flipped over these pictograms suddenly make sense. This flipping of the card continues throughout Elemer – birds, bubbles, bricks, potatoes and Elemer himself are broken from their contexts, they crash and collide with one another. Within this form of bricolage – this flipping of the cards – Perlaki brings out the absurd from the factual, the delicate from the concrete.
Marton Perlaki (1982) is a Hungarian artist with a background in cinematography and photojournalism. Perlaki was shortlisted for the Paul Huf Award and Foam Talent for 2015. Currently lives in New York. Elemer is avaibale as the book from Loose Joints.