Shanghai Builder Shanghai 2007/2008
Nicola Meitzner has for a long time focused on the building-blocks of the modern city. Through her investigation of the structures of housing developments—proceeding from everyday residential streets, past quickly changing and trendy districts, spread out outer sectors and artificially created local recreation areas, all the way to densely packed centers and functional transportation junctions—Nicola Meitzner has assembled an urban vocabulary which lays claim to general validity without, however, ignoring local idioms.
In the presented work, Nicola Meitzner plays with the words and syntactic groupings of this vocabulary. She separates her documentary photographs from Shanghai and assembles the resultant individual images into pictorial sequences. The series suggests the tracking shot of a film, but in contrast to a continuous pan, there is also an abrupt shift of both detail and overview between the pictures. Narrative insinuations, contentual deliberations and formalistic components maintain a mutual equilibrium. The original documentary orientation of the overall image dissolves in the splitting-up into details, in minute observations and stories, as well as in formal considerations.
In a self-evident manner, the possibilities of photography are unfolded so as to indicate various possible readings for the initial picture. Whereas the viewer otherwise seeks out his own path in order to gain access to a complex image by focusing on its individual components, interpreting them and combining his attempted interpretations into a whole, with her most recent installation Nicola Meitzner only seems to relieve him of this work. In fact, individual pictorial fragments become sharpened with respect to a particular reading, but the dissolution causes others to lose their interconnection and apparent significance. Banal objects such as a high-voltage cable, a fence, a street or a pillar are transformed by the division into formal elements of abstract individual pictures—pictures which no longer refer to real objects. That which initially appeared self-evident is henceforth a fragment which first reattains its meaning through the work of the viewer.
Inkjetprints 15,5 x 15,5 15,5 x 31 15,5 x 46,5 cm