workBetter City (2016)

Better City (2016)

prints, installation | 2016

Cities create landscapes. The Better City project explores the visual side of these cityscapes. This installation is filling up the space of the Small Tower at the DOX in two divided, yet very interconnected forms. The prints are divided into two parts - drawings evoking architectural ground plans, and photo-cropping. These croppings are captured and they take out the structures from the original environment, which could possibly be marked as significantly non-architectural or non-conceptual. They’re about the work of the unrepresented characters, built “by hand” or without the usual, coherent rules and plan noticeably learned by people from lower social classes. It’s not about slums or emergency dwellings, but structures most often situated between another housing development in a city. A somewhat chaotic growth or replenishing of these structures, whose interiors significantly stick out into the public space of the street, not linked to any formal concept, is far from the usual image about quality and attractive architecture and a healthy environment. It stands in sharp contrast to the traditional urban understanding considering a clearly geometric arrangement of the space and planned approach for the essential requirement of a quality living space. Despite that, according to the author, these structures personify a certain priority united with unconventionalism, uniqueness, and creativity. They are picturesque and diverse in this method, and for those living in them, they can be the ideal home to a certain extent in their shape and functional adaptability.

By removing the photo of the structure, desaturation and placement on a white background, it is moving away from documentation to a conceptual understanding, working with a form of clean studio processing and intentions. Through drawings, the author then partly “examines” the photo of the structure and bordering on reality, speculation, and fiction retrospectively, he creates the plan, which probably never came about.

The second part of the exhibition creates a clear contrast to the first, formally organized part, and also a strongly architectural impression of the interior of the DOX Small Tower. Bundles and structures of cables of electric wiring, intersecting across the space, create the impression of chaos and disorder. The wiring is an element physically connected to the structure of the buildings and city, naturally creating their hidden part. In contrast, in an environment without a stronger urban traditional Western character, it creates a strong visual element of a street already evident throughout. A not-so-neat, raw, and absurd-looking appearance is naturally chaotic only seemingly, since even here it creates a line of functional purposeful intention.

The black cables create a strong contrast to the white interior and also refer to the similar tonality of the prints. In the centre of the installation, there’s a partly visible geometric structure of a large cube. This, like the basic geometric shape, not only refers to the basic element of modern man-made surroundings, but in its symbolic sense, also the archetype of the city. (This is how New Jerusalem is portrayed as we discover in the New Testament in Revelation - the idealized vision of the city with proportions representing complexity, blending into both a heaven and a real historical city, which in medieval Europe represented more a symbol and the center of the world.)

The theme of the installation is blended together in several ways, creating a basic, yet considerably problematic aspect of urbanism. This is the level of intention in the relationship to the willful transformation by the close organic or chaotic nature. The intended approach and geometric arrangement was unceasingly regarded as an essential requirement of the perfect space, of the ideal city.

Regarding the global trend of the dissemination of the urbanized landscape, as well as the fact that they were being reacted to in many self-contradictory ways in the past, it is an issue connected with the environment of the city and even it’s visibility, which is a more and more important and pressing question.