PRINT March 1985

INSIDE OUT: PHOTOGRAPHS BY PETER CAMPUS with an introduction by Ingrid Sischy

FOR TEN YEARS Peter Campus worked in the movie business, for nine years he explored video. He has spent the last six years producing two different-looking groups of photographs, four of which are reproduced here. If we were to label them at a glance we might call the first series “portraits” and the subsequent images “landscapes.”

A harder look might cause us to change our two tags. Because of the high contrast, the elimination of description, and the ruthless cropping of the “portraits,” the heads are more X rays of the human psyche than faces gracing bodies. Through a similar procedure of negation, the throwaway movie-word “location” begins to fit the outdoor shots more comfortably than the epic word “landscape.” Here is none of the romantic promise of new lands that so many 19th-century landscape photographs contain.

Campus should be written about as though he were the most economical possible director of silent pictures. His camera is somewhere off to the side. When he’s ready he points it. Carefully and slowly, shot by shot, he’s building his story, with actors who have heads like rocks and, more peculiarly, Precambrian rocks which can act.

Ingrid Sischy