52 by 52 8:32am, 8 March 2012
Challenge #28: Take two things that do not fit together, and put them together
— Klaus Pichler

In his own work Klaus often uses juxtaposition and contradiction to create humorous and powerful images. His 'Skeletons in the closet' series makes use of the vast taxidermy collection at the Vienna Museum of Natural History. He places them in unexpected, often banal locations. Another project, 'Middle Class Utopia' , examines the distance between the freedom owning an allotment garden can grant and the leylandii lined cages they sometimes can become.


Skeletons in the closet

“It all started when I happened to catch a glimpse through a basement window of the museum of natural history one night: an office with a desk, a computer, shelves and a stuffed antelope. This experience left me wondering: what does a museum look like behind the scenes? How are exhibits stored when they are not on display?

I was intrigued by these questions when I started to work on this project after being granted permission to take photographs on museum premises. I started to focus on the less well known departments of the museum and their contents.

Therefore, the focus of this study is not on the exhibition spaces of the museum of natural history, but on the space behind the scenes, particularly depots, cellars, and storage rooms assigned to individual departments which are generally not accessible to the public. "

View the project >

Middle Class Utopia

"This series focuses in Austrian allotment gardens in and around Vienna, called ‘Schrebergärten’. These tiny gardens were invented in the late 19th century, mainly to provide space for the working class people to grow their own vegetables and fruits. Over the time, the use of these gardens changed and now they are mainly used for recreational purposes.

Due to the strict rules of these colonies, concerning both the look of the gardens as well as the behavior of the occupants, a special mood surrounds the gardens. The artificial idyll of the garden gets foiled by feelings of paranoia, fear and sometimes loneliness that surround the people who live there. Nature is declared friend and foe at the same time.

On the one hand, the occupants enjoy the beauty and peace of nature – on the other hand, the natural growth of the plants is seen as enemy and needs to be fought with scissors, lawnmovers and hedgetrimmers. This dichotomy leads to a slightly grotesque appearance of the gardens, looking like outdoor living rooms."

View the project >


As well as being a good place to connect with other members and share your initial reactions, thoughts about how to 'solve it' and any links you think might help the group, this can also be a good place to include any old photos you have that fit the challenge. We're looking forward to hearing your thoughts this week.

— 52 by 52 team
Julia M Cameron PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Julia M Cameron (admin) 6 years ago
This is a wonderful and creative brief. It may be about "juxtapositions" and random finds, but I think it could include deliberately setting up an incongruous pairing.
Sometimes, luck finds you, as is the case with this old photograph of a van parked almost outside my house!

Dummy in van 1

It's one of my all time favourites and I hope you like it too.
VLBPhotography 6 years ago
Julia, it is really a great one
Julia M Cameron PRO 6 years ago
Thanks Valerie.
Apparently, the police didn't like it because they thought it would distract other drivers!
Julia M Cameron PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Julia M Cameron (admin) 6 years ago
Probably the strangest shot in my collection....

~ Meredith ~ 6 years ago
Found this one in my archives from a trip to Bilbao a few years ago. I'd love to go back one day but I hope the spider is gone :-)

Guggenheim 06
Mark W Russell 6 years ago
These moments do not happen every day:-
"Imagine there's an elephant in the room......." - Instruction #30 "Remember Robert Capa's words: "If your pictures aren't good enough, your're not close enough". - Andrew Glickman
Richard Stern Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Richard Stern (member) 6 years ago
South Bank

for the proposed book idea from Richard
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