At the Moscow Photo Biennial, Pieter Hugo, 36, stands out from his peers with a powerful subject: the hyena. Its monstrous appearance. Its domestication. On the fringes of African society, on the border between urban and rural. The hyena offers a stark contrast to the rest of the biennial, dominated by trivial subjects like “Here are my drunk girlfriends!” and “Here’s America through my rearview mirror!” or even “Here’s my motorcycle in a bunch of different places!” Hugo has found the kind of subject that journalists dream about: unique, at once extraordinary and unlikely and, therefore, fascinating. The intriguing images conjure forth a story, a text, a narrative.
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