Paul Hutchinson »Word Pieces«


Paul Hutchinson
»Word Pieces«
9 March – 2 April, 2022

In his photographic work and texts, Paul Hutchinson (*1987, Berlin) considers social phenomena of urban life such as contemporary urban culture and the conditions of social mobility. Oscillating between moments of intimacy, a raw urban lifestyle and political statement, his works are always an attempt to create an accurate yet individual image of our time.

10 Word Pieces Paul Hutchinson

In addition to his photographic work, since 2021, Paul Hutchinson has also been presenting text works in the context of his exhibition participations. His so-called Word Pieces grew out of Hutchinson's desire to actively integrate his writing into his visual practice. The resulting silkscreen prints question the social attributions to signs, the stereotyping of form, and depict in content as well as in form the interweaving of text and image that Hutchinson has also been dealing with in his publications since 2017.

05 Word Pieces Paul Hutchinson

I start walking. Go faster with every step. Get to the street, turn around, continue walking and realise I’ve lost track of the others. Something within me has me racing but I’m unsure where it comes from. Rain everywhere by now. My trainers soaked. I continue down the street. Past the shops, the people, the faces I know by heart. Past the dealers, the screamers, the people I don’t give a fuck about. Turn around and see the others way back. See them talking but I can’t be bothered and move on. Whatever. Walk off the map and get lost. The rain continues and I sense thick drops wetting my forehead and flowing into my brows, my hair drenched. My upper body is tense. I clench my fists. By now the road leads uphill and becomes tougher to run on. I almost manage not to pay attention to the voices from below. Can’t really see them anymore, almost gone. Got to keep on running. Raindrops are falling from the buildings around me. Puddles everywhere. Peoples faces blur, left and right. Turn into grimaces with hollow mouths that keep on talking, endlessly talking. I turn away and continue uphill, thighs burning. But I slip on the wet tar. Just about manage to catch myself before I hit the ground and shred my hands. Grey concrete around me. Bitter. I spit and get up. Rain pours down even harder. I’m thinking I’m not too far from the top now, when I suddenly realise there’s a vast load of water rushing towards me from above. A large wave, mountains high, built by the constant rain, making its way downhill. The closer it gets, the more it grows in size and speed. I keep going, thinking I can handle this – I’ll just leap over it. But as the wave continues rushing forward, it washes away everything that stands in its way: the shops, the chairs, the stools set outside. The people. Everything gets shattered. I jump up, lean forward, dive, tense up and fold my hands over the top of my head, trying to absorb some of the initial impact. But I can’t. The stream takes hold of me and the only thing I’m trying to do now is not drown. I steadily paddle upwards to get to some air until, at some point, I get spat out and find myself lying at the very bottom of the road again, on solid ground. Concrete in my face. Most of the water drains into the sewers, only the thick, plopping rain continues as before. I can hear it before I feel it. Dripping all over my skin.

Paul Hutchinson, "The Old Sun and the New Rain" (excerpt) published in wach mal auf junge wach mal auf [exh. cat.], Sies + Höke, 2021

For the exhibition at Collectors Agenda, Hutchinson has developed his own edition. It is based on the phrase two minds thinking two thoughts three words making you soft, which comes from a longer text by Hutchinson. Each sheet of the 10-part edition, however, reproduces only part of this verse. By the deliberate omission of certain words, new word combinations and new content connections arise on each sheet. Each sheet forms a poem of its own.

Word Pieces is a contribution to the festival programme of this year‘s edition of FOTO WIEN.

08 Word Pieces Paul Hutchinson

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