Raff Designuke.

My view on modern fence restoration.

Client: Raff Designuke.

Location: Bergen, Norway.

Year realisation: 2013.

Review by:
Shannon Egan, Ph.D.
Director, Schmucker Art Gallery, USA
Director, Interdisciplinary Studies

Artist and designer Hans Pulles shows tremendous ambition and a keen, artistic eye as part of the Raff Designuke Project 2013 in Bergen, Norway.

For his site-specific project, See what I see, Pulles restored a section of an old fence around a beautiful, park-like cemetery and replaced it with his own modern design.  Pulles’ bright yellow flowers appear in opposition to the dark and unvarying rhythm of the older fence.  The vividness and saturation of the color, combined with the dynamism of the undulating curve of the top line of the new fence, create the illusion that the flowers are leaping and pulsating.

As Pulles explores the effects of color, line and implied movement, he also provides an opportunity to consider concepts of uniqueness, mass-reproduction and individual perception.  Pulles compressed, elongated and slightly distorted each flower, so that each form is unlike any other.  At once, the repetition of the flower echoes the recurrence of the curved lines of the original gate and also provides a nuanced examination of difference within sameness.  Each flower resists being seen as identical to the others.  While gate design and construction often relies on uniformity of parts for ease of construction or accessibility, Pulles resists such monotony.  He does not simply provide decoration, but enlivens the space both within the gate and around it.

As a pedestrian walks past the fence, one’s gait is not metered by the factory-made, identical parts, seen in so many urban structures.  Rather, Pulles’s design stimulates a spring in one’s step and refocuses one’s attention to the ever-changing surroundings.