Magazine article Artforum International

Aglaia Konrad: Frehrking Wiesehofer

Magazine article Artforum International

Aglaia Konrad: Frehrking Wiesehofer

Article excerpt

In "Her City," Aglaia Konrad's first solo exhibition in Germany, the artist--who was born in Salzburg and lives in Brussels--skillfully combined an engagement with the standardized architectures of modernism, urban edge zones, transitory spaces, and rapidly expanding megacities with a conscious shift of perspective, a mobilization of the viewer's gaze. Thus, in Fault Fold (Cairo), 2005, a twenty-foot-tall digital black-and-white photocopy glued directly to the wall and stretched over parts of the ceiling, two very different perspectives meet: The camera's POV--a bird's-eye view of high-rises in Cairo that, from this angle, look rather like models--is counteracted by the upward-looking perspective one must inevitably experience when looking at a photo tapestry that extends up to and onto the ceiling. Konrad engages in refined play with the viewpoints prescribed in the photographs and the organization of sight lines in the real space of the gallery. Depending on where you stand, new constellations reveal themselves, such as when Tokyo, 1994, a photograph of a group of girls in school uniforms waiting in front of a ticket counter in Japan, becomes juxtaposed, once one turns the corner of the L-shaped gallery room, with that of a group of adolescent male immigrants in nighttime Holland. As well-mannered as the waiting girls are--engaged in a more or less sanctioned use of the urban infrastructure--the intentions of the young men remain unclear in their inhospitable surroundings, in which time and place are determined solely by the title and date of the photograph, Rotterdam, 1992.

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As Sonke Gau suggests in his essay for Konrad's 2004 exhibition "Kopie/City" at Camera Austria in Graz, "In production and in use, spaces and architectures are largely created by way of views and image sequences. The urban space becomes a screen. …

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