Cityscapes Archive

A CITYSCAPE is a photographic portrait of a city, based on the grid of a city map. All the intersection points of the grid on the North-South axis and the East-West axis are then located in the actual city, from centre to outskirts. Photographs are made in all four directions at each location. These photgraphs are then presented in the form of a slide-projection, juxtaposing the four views of each location. Recently, the CITYSCAPES are accompanied by a CITY SONG, a composition of sounds recorded on site.

It results in a cross-section of a city. It is an objective method, free of interpretation. A CITYSCAPE is not a representation of a city, like the image a city projects of itself; instead it shows what a city actually is.

The method originates in the projects for the public space. It is a system for investigating the conditions of a place and the nature of its public space. Showing the structure of a city and the way that the public space functions makes the culture of a country visible.

The CITYSCAPES are also presented in the context of exhibitions. Previously artists used to stay in their studios where they produced their work. Now they go everywhere like nomads to make exhibitions in different places, in different cities. In the CITY-SCAPES this condition is integrated. The most current city map is used, the one every tourist has. The exhibition space is the central point of the map.

The CITYSCAPE of London was made prior to the exhibition LONDON SONG. The image of London is that it is the city of Big Ben and Piccadilly Circus. In reality it is a vast city of 40 x 30 kilometres consisting of a series of loosely connected garden cities. It is a metropolis without any big-city character. There is no highrise, only houses with gardens. Poor and rich districts are the same - everywhere you find the same porches with front doors, balconies and ornamental eaves. The only difference is the size. Even the new developments are no different from houses built at the beginning of the twentieth century. The CITYSCAPE also shows a mentality, namely the bourgeois notion of domestic life. You suddenly understand the revolt of a younger generation and what they want to escape from - middle class embarrassment.

There are CITYSCAPES of a number of cities such as Zwolle, Paris, Munich, London, Valenciennes, Rotterdam and Hamburg. It is a project that runs parallel to the art works and the projects for the public space. It is a reservoir that accumulates. An ongoing study of the image of urban culture. And whether its subject is art, the public space or architecture, the work always defines the border between things rooted in the self-evidence of existing needs, and others that are thought up, that are inventions. What interests me is to make this border visible and in so doing to give a place back its self-evident quality.