Texts/Franz Schuh: Space Travel

Franz Schuh

Space Travel

A city’s urbanity is derived from the fact that it represents a space filled with
opportunities. You only have to walk around the corner and already everything’s completely different. Sometimes it’s so different it’s hard to imagine it could be that different. Besides, no city is exclusively urban. City dwellers like to make their city more village-like, finding quiet places within it where they are not taken by surprise, where everything somehow seems more manageable. So a city can also be viewed from the vantage point of how it manages to balance static and changeable moments (whether the static aspect predominates or whether change has got out of hand).

Squares play a big role in this respect. Squares are all about hustle and bustle; the people crossing squares are always different, but often they’re also the same people coming back to do whatever they have to do around that same square. Life as it plays out in city squares almost seems manageable, just as it is in village squares.

Clearly, urbanity helps to develop a sense of opportunity, and one might be tempted to say that urban life promotes perspectives for which modern art is one application. A city consists not just of itself; it also comprises the images created about it. And that is how I see Beatrix Bakondy’s video installation. It does not merely depict a city square; instead, the depiction is altered so that the same square becomes a different square, a potential square. Video technology allows the invented potential square to be shown in the very location that provides the setting for the ‘genuine’ square. The invention is projected back onto the original square and so, for a while, i.e. for as long as the art is in place, it is part of that city’s reality.