"Framed transparency: fictional urban landscapes in 21st century Europe“

Temporary insights into unfamiliar worlds may create unexpected moments of happiness, elusive like a shadow drawn on the wall of a house, a street-scenery reflected in a window, the look of resting, outstretched legs in ribbed pattern tights with the pattern corresponding to the broad steps of a stairway.
Especially, the modern city and its constructed proportions with controlled traffic flows, public parks, handrails and balustrades, with spaces between multi-storey buildings and office towers allowing you to look through, offers a grid of geometrical structures, whose look - depending on the position of the beholder - may differ slightly. Residents and passers-by breathe life into provided Infrastructure: they follow architectonic guidelines in a peevish, absent-minded or frolicsome way. However, very often they make use of the constructed world in a completely different way than initially planned. In this respect, seasons and living conditions play a crucial role: rainy weather or the first sun in spring, both create a different light, urban fallow land is created, and unlike working people who are worn down by daily life, young students indwell public places in a much more unconstrained way.
In order to stage urban dynamics in an organized way you need both, a camera that puts the vibrant events in the two-dimensional scenery of the picture into a perspective that is plausible for our eye, and an analytical even ethnological view which tries to understand the interaction between architecture and residents as an expression of a specific temporary attitude of life.
Transparencies becoming visible by way of reflecting windows, or framed visual fields divided into small sections that can be seen through windows, openings in walls or lattice work: life is full of promises, even if it is just a little bit of green we can see while looking through a rip in a construction site sheeting. Some insights seem to pass by quickly like in a film, while others generate the impression you could just reach out and grab the kind of utopia with your hands, as elusive as it may be: an open wing of a door pointing at Virginia creeper on the wall of a house, fresh green plants springing out behind a window with glazing bars in front of which a white curtain is held by a branch in a picturesque manner or maybe just out of necessity and swaying in the breeze like the curtain of a cradle. But there are also unconventional formations, which are highlighted on the photographic screen in the context of their geometrical orientation: dustbins in front yards, arranged like crucifixes on a military cemetery, human legs acting like a modern dance company amidst shadows drawn on the floor. Or we are deep in thought while observing a little reddish plant between square flag stones, with blades of grass and pioneer plants rising between the gaps, it has just rained and the reflection of remaining puddles embed large-scale structured fronts of modern buildings in the concrete grid.
Claudia Fritz arranges the pictures in sequences that allow the beholder to plunge into the interplay of proportions, hatchings and colour changes in such a way that the different settings (Krakow, Innsbruck, Freiburg, and others) merge into one urban landscape of the second decade of our century. This is where the signature of one urban European environment is shaped: based on the fundamental stipulation of visual structure and framing and inspired by small breaks of the curiously peeking eye along with the possibilities the camera offers. (Priv. Doz. Dr. Andrea Gnam)

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Claudia Fritz
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Andrea Gnam
deutscher text