A while ago, I was asked to contribute to a project on the city of Berlin called ShapingCITYzenship. In brief, the project
is to explore on different scales the existing relations mainly among three important elements within the urban context: people, spaces and (mental) images.
Among the instruments there were interviews conducted by Francesca La Vigna, which you can read here. My personal language is of course photography and my aim was to contribute with a more personal take on the issues, particularly the changing nature of the city and how media campaigns have shaped my understanding (in a way or another) of the city I live in.
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My work focuses on the impact of media campaigns and mixed messages on how Berlin is ultimately perceived. Building from the project’s interest in comparing the visitor’s experience to the expected environment, I registered my impressions of the city over a period of time, capturing the confusion and the overlapping messages by focusing on some of the elements of these campaigns: Berlin as a major construction site and the representation of the city’s economic situation. This feature of change, accompanied by the constant reiteration of the city’s peculiarity of being “poor but sexy” and the repetition of considerations about its economic situation, give to the visitor the impression that she/he is coming to a place whose characteristics are already defined. Yet, these messages overlap and the city becomes difficult to grasp.
There have been many exhibitions on the changes that have occurred in Berlin. A look at any major gallery’s bookshop will suffice and many of the books exploring the changes are already outdated, which reinforces the premises of the démarche.
Can change happen in all directions or is it one direction, such as the one aspired to by the campaigning “be berlin” where essentially the city is a major attraction site for investors?
The work features a collection of often very subtle analog double exposures, taking the spectator to different areas of the city.