In Paris, more than 360,000 “potelets antistationnement des trottoirs parisiens” separate the space destined for pedestrians and vehicles. Steel posts, deeply rooted in the sidewalk, which in average can take 1,500 collisions with cars before they bend – or so they say. The head of each post is crowned by a hand caressing, smooth globe of steel. The once neatly lacquered specimen always mark a transition from sidewalk to traffic lane or a driveway. But there is one thing all of theses potelets parisiens have in common: over time the coating vanishes. Through random touches, casual contacts, through life itself every globe develops a very personal profile and becomes an individual, aesthetic object.
Over the last couple of years I documented hundreds of these witnesses of urban life. At a closer look theses pavement globes are an abstract visualization of unconscious human influence. Ex oficio installed for the general order of millions of people, they get touched more or less consciously – from small and big, old and young, clean an dirty, ringed or unringed hands – embraced by playing children, brushed by coats, handbags and luggage, plastered by people with a mission – be it creative or political –, scratched by those who don’t want to read these messages, and for some people they simply provide support on an icy morning or during a stormy kiss. All of this and more is visible in these pictures.
My new series “FlyBy” dedicates again to an urban landscape, its special system and pattern – but this time reduced to a minimum. The pictures are allegories on the organization of city life, its residents and visitors, who scurry, rush or sneak past, yet still leave their marks in flying by.
Especially big cities take great effort to strengthen their state of distinctiveness. Mostly they rely on unique architecture, trust image enhancing advertisement or staged street art. But the essential evidences of metropolitan individuality are delivered by the everyday movement of the many people who involuntarily, aimlessly and thus with ease work on the urban image. Who accidentally leave important marks in a true democratic way, because, after all, everybody participates in this process.
“FlyBy” mirrors the human existence in metropolises as well as the unique and deeply liberal influence of every single person in the urban universe.
28 x 21 cm – Edition of 3 + 1 AP 41 x 31 cm – Edition of 1 + 1 AP 69 x 54 cm – Edition of 1 + 1 AP
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