Sedimentation Process: City
Not quite photo-realism but the illusion thereof utilises the possibilities of composition in order to create a story with spatial layering aiming to be unlike anything which preceded it. The intensity of the urban landscape, the irregularities it harbours and the sheer power of the individual structures tell of a time of past glories. The society, whose best days have been left behind, forms the foundation and provides the benchmark of our actions today and thus expresses an analogy of the course of life.
Using Mannerism in eclectic forms, a snapshot of the postmodern is extended beyond its natural boundaries in a series of style references. Keeping in mind the definition of dual coding as the crucial characteristic in postmodern constructions in which different groups are supposed to be addressed through a combination of historicised and modern forms, regional and international references, in this case theoretically more homogenous ideal images are used.
For J.-F. Lyotard, who first expounded the topic in 1979 (Lyotard, ‘The Postmodern Condition’) the postmodern describes a spiritual condition of the present following the failure of the great utopia. In these pictures, a subtle earlier utopia apparently coming from the premodern era is a necessary backdrop.
This capriccio alludes to the simultaneousness of certain pseudo-historical events which raises questions as to their stylistic origins as the anachronisms become apparent. These contradictory elements in the works seem to imply the existence of a reality beyond the utopia yet they nevertheless take an apparently ideal city as their foundation.
The unanswerability of the question as to the causality which has led a particular architectural legacy leads inexorably to Adorno’s demand in the “aesthetic theory” that a work of art always throws up puzzles which it then leaves open. “The indeterminacy between the unobtainable and the realised defines this puzzle.”
The transposition of interiors and exteriors, the creation of a sense of temperature, the feeling of isolation in the images through the lack of any movable objects and the old antagonists homogenous and heterogeneous surfaces, the peacefulness of the architecture and the movement in the perspective, fear inducing dark corners and illuminated islands of calm create, on the one hand, a strong perspectivistic draw. On the other hand, the Grisaille uniformity provokes a reduction to the terms fiction and reality, past memories and present experiences as well as life and death.
One further theme of the works originates in the aesthetic spatial theory, which no longer only concerns facades and interiors – the simple inside and outside of classic architecture theory – but increasingly finds application with the perception of atmosphere.
The atmosphere also encapsulates the positioning within the urban landscape, the light effects, as well as the relationship with other nearby shapes, which are hinted at using shadows and reflections in window panes.
The partly melancholic, isolated, threatening and sometimes even romantic mood or atmosphere provides a link to the concept of the modern – with the simultaneous demand to continue a project nourished by a symbiosis of different ages.