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City Spaces and Habitats. Changing.
Mass Media Advertising. Ruling.
Fictional Reality. Facing.
Static Tensions. Growing.
Visual Overload. Drifting.
A Storm of Light and Shadows. 24/7. Noise.
Living in a city, we are used to the constant availability of shopping and leisure opportunities. This may be taken for granted in Western civilization. However, our relationship to the omnipresence of mass media and advertising in urban spaces is ambivalent. In a positive way, media and advertising means prosperity, knowledge and modernity. But with the city being a shopping temple we also have to deal with issues of information and sensory overload, social exclusion and cultural decline. Which aspect prevails often depends on the situation and varies over time. Thereby, our view depends on the understanding of the social and economic order and culture of our society.
The embedding of mass media spaces into the adjacent urban architecture of buildings, shop windows, subway stations, and market places is where STATIC TENSIONS sets in. The series focusses on the visual overload of the individual due to an artificially created dream world.
While walking the shopping streets, the actual urban surroundings merge with the fictional media world of advertising and create something new. The massive promulgation through the mass media in public spaces, on buildings and in streets fundamentally changes their quality, function, and atmosphere. Thus social and cultural aspects step back behind the representation and functionality of uniform products and services. Societal affiliation through individualization in a standardised world is one of the key messages.
In a figurative sense STATIC TENSIONS stands for the fact that we live in times of global and local tensions. Personal, sociological, cultural, territorial and economic developments influence the individual and the society. STATIC TENSIONS, a well-known term in mechanics, describes the point at which material breaks. This can be interpreted as a situation when viewpoints become blurred.
The images shown reflect the visual overload of the individual by intense black and white contrasts, photographic reduction and compaction of the motifs on site, and unusual perspectives. The absence of colour emphasizes the connections of these complex urban constructions, which are essential parts of human perception levels. Image pairs, which often seem to be very unconventional acting collages, highlight the confusion of senses. At first sight, it seems that the former has nothing to do with the latter, but it is the eye of the viewer, which holds these collages of perceptions together.
STATIC TENSIONS is an example of how well-known urban traces can be found and interpreted. The images may not only engage people in the hidden beauty of their personal environment but also in the meaning of objects and media concepts of public spaces. Although there are no real people in the images, it is intriguing to recognize that man determines his entire environment. As a result, STATIC TENSIONS shows the transformation of everyday motifs into an art form, without losing their urban rawness.
Currently the series contains 46 images [23 dyptichs], taken in Germany, Great Britain, Austria and Italy.
The editing of the series including a complete photobook dummy was realized during the Lichtblick School Masterclass 2015/2016 by Wolfgang Zurborn and Markus Schaden.