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city walks Paris 2012 / Barcelona 2013

The invention of photography is simultaneously the beginning of architectural photography: One of the first historical photographs shows a building. Ever since then, architecture, the city, and the urban landscape have been ongoing themes in photography. In the age of industrialization, cities became an expression of modernism, and the portability of the camera corresponded to this dynamism. In the twenty-first century, the acceleration of vision, the sheer number of images, new formal strategies, technical innovations, and the global mobility of travelers have created an utterly transformed conception of time, space, and the image which also determines the perception of architecture and the picture.

This development from the first static photographs all the way to a flexible, digital visual culture is mirrored in the work City Walks (2012/13) by Nicola Meitzner: For a good while now, cities such as Paris or Barcelona have ceased to be exotic or unattainable metropolises. Their so-called landmarks have been exhaustively presented to view. Big cities resemble each other in their international culture of signs and images, functions and forms. Cultural identity and urban culture seem like an invention of the media. Over the course of urban development, however, city spaces are subject to scarcely calculable transformation. The urban structure of a metropolis cannot be described by a single, generally valid image. In City Walks, the city becomes an inhospitable and unreal object. Nicola Meitzner imbues her work with a definitive formal expressivity. The images present details, reflections, fragments, shifted overviews, legibility and illegibility. People appear as mere proxies or extras. Sometimes the elements may be clearly classified, whereas at other times it is impossible to say where something was photographed. Our image of the city is based on projections, assumptions, or clichés. Any image of any city whatsoever is an invention―a section which we put together and insert into a superordinate experience, a specific concept or a vague memory. City Walks functions like a mosaic of this constant endeavor of identification. Truth and fiction cannot be distinguished from each other.
                                                                                                    Maik Schlüter
Other city explorations are in preparation.

Paris 2012
45 motives
pigment prints
24 x 32 cm

Barcelona 2013
37 motives
pigment prints
24 x 32 cm