Multidisciplinary London-based artists Walter Hugo & Zoniel work with photography, sculpture, film and performance. A student of physics and geology, Hugo is self taught, and together with Zoniel, has focused on using scientific processes to pioneer the modern development of early photographic techniques. The results are wonderfully laboured works that engage with the history of photography while interpreting it in a contemporary manner - both aesthetically, conceptually and technically. Devoid of the overwhelmingly polished look of contemporary photography, the evolved ambrotypes, tintypes, salt prints and pigment prints show signs of the artists’ manual labour and capture the life of the subject in an unparalleled way.
Walter Hugo & Zoniel continue to push the boundaries of art, photography and science: they aspire to visually charm and entice the viewer, demanding both contemplation and momentary escapism whilst addressing the human condition. ‘Sets’ or ‘series of subjects’ are often featured in order to represent a single theme that the artists in turn combine or juxtapose with auto-didactically derived methodologies. The latter process creates a work-specific relationship between theme and method of production which raises questions about meaning, content and technique.
Walter Hugo & Zoniel have exhibited internationally including Tate Britain, London; and in Tel Aviv and New York. Most recently, The artists have been nominated for the 2014 Paul Huf prize in Amsterdam.
Walter Hugo & Zionel live and work in London.