21st Century Cosmopolitan Images


Lisa Mazza, 2012

Starting from a random location outside a city and walking towards the centre, the camera, which is the companion of Wolfgang Lehrner in his explorations, is capturing moments of a journey to what he calls the world city. The artist undertakes his journeys following his gut feeling. The result to be seen by the viewer is not the artist's journey, but an accumulation of moving images recording seemingly accidental observations whilst the camera is not in motion. It is not the creator of the image who is in motion but what is filmed — provided there is an action to be documented. The immobile camera stands in opposition to the explorative moving of the artist and the reverberations of a city.
Barcelona, Chicago, Doha, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Mexico City, Moscow, Mumbai, Naples, New York, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Tokyo, ...

But it is not that important to name the places Wolfgang Lehrner is visiting. It is rather an attempt to understand a city as a space independently from its national boundaries and to look at it from a global perspective without denying local properties. Space, as Lefebvre elaborates on extensively in his influential oeuvre The Production of Space, is in a constant becoming, and defined by multiplicity and interrelations between the mental, physical and social fields. The contemporaneous intensities of the global and the local, and the intersections of overlappings, make the differentiation impossible, and thus enable an unfolding of the ongoing investigation World City: 21st Century Cosmopolitan Investigations.

An image archive is created which denies a categorization of space through geographical place and time and rethinks the notion of space by using different modes of representation of the same material. The growing collection of images omits to credit the place of origin, but uses the very same material for all the three categories: "global random," "local loop" and "glocal still." The first is a projection of a random sequence of takes following each other with no break, the "local loop" as a collection of single video loops running on screen, and the "glocal stills" in the format of c-prints produced from video stills. The viewer can explore in segments single realities or a process of random composition — local becomes global and vice versa...

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