Peter LAND Back to square one 2015
Courtesy of Galleri Nicolai Wallner and Peter Land

Learning resource

Peter Land


‘The aim of the artist should be to engage the spectator actively in taking a stand by way of the artistic product…art should not be pacifying entertainment or pure decoration, which is not to say that art cannot be both entertaining and decorative’


Discussion Questions

  • The subject is a one-to-one cast of the artists in his own clothes portrayed as if homeless.  Does this change the work as compared to if it portrayed someone else as subject?
  • How do you think the ephemeral quality of the cardboard material alters the impact of the work? And how has it constrained and influenced his construction?
  • What kind of social commentary could the artist be making through this work?

Art Making

  • Use discarded materials like cardboard, tin cans, plastic bottles etc to create an artwork/sculpture that makes a visual statement about a social, political or environmental issue you are interested in or passionate about. Present this work to your peers and discuss what inspired you.
  • Construct small paper sculptures exploring the methodology of extension and compression of materials. Build tunnels and towers, contort shape and explore layering through folding. Use spray adhesive to assist with solidifying form, think about the limitation of paper as a material for making art.

Case Study Social issues in art

  • The artists developed the idea for Back to square one 2015 a short time after 2008, the time of the global financial crisis. Interpret Land’s work through a cultural or historical framework. Prepare and present a three minute presentation to your class which explains your interpretation.
  • Consider how the artist has planned the materials, scale and placement of this work to shape the viewer’s experience. You may compare how Land uses these elements to the work of CÉSAR. Apply a structural or formal framework to identify how the physical qualities of the work impact the viewer’s experience.

Research Links

Search for works by this artist in the national collection.