Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Peter Puklus and I don’t consider myself a photographer, I prefer to call myself an artist mostly using the medium of photography. I work and live in Budapest, Hungary.
What did you do for PERDIZ?
I contributed an extract from a larger project entitled ‘The Hero Mother’ that I started to work on approximately a year and a half ago. The subject has two main topics. One is about equality between men and women in western Europe… actually I confirm that based on my experience there is no real equality happening between men and women, and I ask the question why and what can we do or how we can change that. The other topic of this project is: whether it is possible for us to have a better relationship with our children than the one we had with our parents.
Can you tell us how this project is related to happiness?
Together with my wife, we constantly ask ourselves: what is happiness? Or, with all these struggles and all these very deep and negative moments which are included in raising a child, are we happy at all? To raise children is not only a laugh and happiness and joy, it’s very tiring, and sometimes this tiredness comes in a row… day after day after day – you don’t really see the sun. We had to change our mind and redefine this kind of existence – we decided that this must be the happiness. Because you feel in your bones that this is life and that you are alive.
About the project itself – what can you tell us about the blurred borders between photography and architecture?
I’m a trained photographer but since my diploma I was always looking for opportunities to leave this wooden square on the wall that we call ‘photography’. Photography is always presented as a square format, either in the pages of a magazine or a book, or a square format in a wooden frame on the wall of a gallery or your house. And I believe that this stage is important, but what I’m looking for is way behind that. I’m looking for what happens before or after this frozen moment. This is only just a tenth of a second which is technically is describing photography. But I’m much more interested in what we imagine happened after or before this very moment in terms of time.
When did you wake up today? What did you have for breakfast?
I woke up a 5.30 because I’m taking care of our daughter who is one-and-a-half years old now. Then I went with her into the kitchen, made a coffee, cleared up the mess from yesterday’s dinner and then at 6.30 there are construction workers who arrived to work on the roof. It’s still dark when they arrive, so I gave them a coffee as well. Then I prepared some breakfast for the kids – our son wakes around 7 – and then I had to leave the house at 7.30, so today I didn’t have any time for breakfast! Only coffee.
What makes you happy in your day-to-day life?
What makes me happy is if I’m able to complete the goals I set for the day. I have a small piece of paper on the table. I write whatever I would like to achieve during the day and if I can cross most of them, then I feel I was productive and successful.
Do you remember the last time something made you laugh and what it was?
Shit, no! I used to laugh a lot but it disappeared.
Can you recommend us somewhere in your city that makes you feel good?
Sure! Kopaszi gát, a park on the bank of the Danube where I can walk with my dog.
And a song that puts a bounce in your step?
I’m an omnivore when it comes to music. I used to say that I eat everything when it comes to music, from Mozart to Rammstein. So Rammstein – Du Hast.
And a food that makes your stomach happy?
What was the last piece of good news you remember reading?
It looks like I’ll be able to finish the preparation for my next solo show in the Trafó gallery here in Budapest.