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Photos of the Day: Beate Gutschow's Stadt


Beate Gutschow, S (Stadt) 11 and S 14, 2005.

Drawing from her enormous archive of collected images... Gütschow’s pictures are montages consisting of up to hundred different images assembled together digitally. Her final constructions at first glace appear as if captured from reality but upon closer inspection they are revealed as fiction.

The S series is post-apocalyptic, revealing failed social ideals through alienating architecture. Photographing in Berlin, Chicago, Kyoto, Los Angeles, New York, and Sarajevo, Gütschow appropriates buildings, parking lots, stairways, and people. Reconfiguring these elements of architecture from different areas of the world, she synthesizes a disorienting cosmopolitan space with a confused temporality. Just as she positions picnic-goers in her landscapes, Gütschow recontextualizes the images of homeless people and tourists—fixtures of the modern city. That these displaced subjects seem hardly out of place in Gütschow’s S series reveals something about the cities in which they were photographed. Despite the utopian ideals behind the modern architecture, cities are less hospitable than we idealize them to be.

- some heavily edited (by me) text from: Beate Gütschow: LS/S, Museum of Contemporary Photography, 2007.

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