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Paul Kranzler


Land of Milk and Honey


The young Linz-based Paul Kranzler (born 1979) already reveals a strong, independent position in his first projects: his social interest, participation in the lives of others in the great international tradition of social documentary photography. With the extensive photographic project “Land of Milk and Honey” (2002 – 2004), Paul Kranzler documented the life of his neighbour in a substandard room in Linz. As a young art student, he shared the precarious life of his neighbours there for about two years. The central theme here is the increasing loss of control of a person who is no longer able to comply with the norms of living in an affluent society. In documenting this living situation, Kranzler demonstrates the same attentive, open gaze, the same photographic precision that also characterises his series “Krasnodar” (2003), created in a Linz asylum seekers’ home, and “Landjugend” (2004).

Paul Kranzler, aus der Serie: »Land of Milk and Honey«, 2002-2004

Artist Statement

“In October 2001 I was looking for a cheap place to live. In complete contrast to the posh therapy practices on the ground floor, there were some rooms on the top floor of a Linz townhouse with a shared toilet in the corridor.
I had already been living there for a year when my acquaintance with Toni and Aloisia went beyond mere greetings and carrying shopping bags upstairs. My two room neighbours were not freaks or anything, they showed me great cordiality and openness right from the start. And they were completely normal. So it was often very cosy sitting over there, talking, watching TV, drinking beer. An oasis in the middle of the hostile desert of the land of milk and honey. I was allowed to take part in their lives, I am still grateful to them for that. Taking the pictures was never in question, they had no reservations, I was simply the boy who takes pictures. Lots of photos. The condition of the room was that of its inhabitant. That’s how I found him, in the summer of 2003, hit by a stroke, in a horrible state, on the floor of his room. His room was soon vacated as well, it was clear that he would not make it here on his own. But he proved to be a hard bone, thank God, “weeds don’t spoil”, he whispered to me in the intensive care unit. How he really turned this corner then is a mystery to me to this day.”

Paul Kranzler, aus der Serie: »Land of Milk and Honey«, 2002-2004
Paul Kranzler, aus der Serie: »Land of Milk and Honey«, 2002-2004