The German American architect Mies van der Rohe numbers among the most important representatives of classical modernism. His bold structures of glass and steel such as The New Gallery in Berlin have permanently changed the world of architecture.
Artist Claudia Larcher animates photographs of works by the influential architect in her Collapsing Mies. Vertical grid and frame structures in front of a black ground slowly but steadily slide into view. The palette of colors and forms is extremely reduced, visual accents provided by grey, blue and brown marble. The images steadily turn on a central vertical axis as they perpetually grow in number. A minimalistic electronic soundtrack by Alexander J. Eberhard increasingly telescopes in perfect synchronicity with the images. In a paradoxical play of forms the architectural photos are superimposed multiple times. While this makes it impossible to distinguish concrete buildings and objects, the formal language of van der Rohe's constructivist minimalism is clearly on display. Larcher uses shots of facades as well as interiors, collapsing distinctions between inside and outside.
The boundary between two- and three-dimensional space is also broken down. Two dimensional photographs of three-dimensional objects are virtually re-translated in an artificial 3-D space, as well as being layered in and atop one another. In this way, the artist renders a complex, multi-perspectival spatial structure while at the same time creating a minimalist abstract motion.
Mies van der Rohe's modernist dream of efficiency, transparency, and elegance is made manifest in this acutely compressed computer animation. His rationalistic aesthetic is wonderfully elucidated by way of Larcher's distillation and abstraction. With this highly aesthetic reflection upon architectural history, Larcher generates an experimental artwork of particular beauty resting on constructive logic and formal rigor. (Norbert Pfaffenbichler)
Translation: Eve Heller