• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • Flickr
  • Youtube
  • eNews

Pierre Bismuth

Pierre Bismuth Someone I don’t know who reminds me of someone you don't know  2004

Pierre Bismuth | France b.1963 | Someone I don’t know who reminds me of someone you don't know 2004 | Offset lithographic prints and black and white photograph | Purchased 2007. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Pierre Bismuth Someone I don’t know who reminds me of someone you don't know 2004

Pierre Bismuth
France b.1963
Someone I don’t know who reminds me of someone you don't know 2004
Offset lithographic prints and black and white photograph
Purchased 2007. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Pierre Bismuth

Someone I don’t know who reminds me of someone you don't know  2004

Pierre Bismuth’s practice investigates the processes through which we make sense of cultural forms such as art, cinema and the print media. His work often involves a reorganisation of existing material, with the effect of preventing the viewer from relating to it in the way that was originally intended.

In this work, the anonymous status of the found photographic images forms an interdependent relationship with the title of the work to produce a disconnection between the subject, the artist and the viewer. As viewers and consumers, we are conditioned to view images with some form of text or caption. These uncaptioned, de-contextualised images emphasise the anonymity of the people in the work. With the further denial of their identity by the artist — ‘someone I don’t know…’ — and the acknowledgment of the viewers’ ignorance of them, the images are left to occupy a paradoxical zone, where their only role is to remind the artist of ‘someone you don’t know’.

Elena Kane has written that Bismuth ‘seeks to uncover the mechanisms at play in the production of meaning. His experiments involve initiating situations of perception which implicate the viewer as an active recipient — rather than passive consumer — and which, through the use of various conceptual and linguistic strategies (along with the occasional dash of good old tongue-in-cheek nonsense), bring about moments of enlightening disillusionment’.1 The ‘moment of disillusionment’ to which Kane refers is apparent through the relationship of the title to the images, and only completed with the viewer’s participation and complicity.

1 Elena Kane, ‘Pierre Bismuth’ in Contemporary, issue 86, 2006, p.51.