Opening August 5 2016 at 5-8PM
The exhibition is open August 5 – September 11 2016
Imagine the world as one giant city – the entire globe covered in urban sprawl.
Imagine Ecumenopolis – buildings, high rises and slum, stretching across the planet’s surface as one single megastructure.
Inspired by artists, authors and radical urban thinkers, the solo exhibition ReMerz City ReMystified by Copenhagen-based artist Alen Aligrudic (b. 1977, exYU) takes its point of departure in Sci Fi visions, expanding on the crux of human existence – and ultimately natural life, set forth in the quintessential futuristic dystopia of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis from 1927. The project is also more acutely informed by the recent documentary Ekümenopolis: Ucu olmayan sehir (Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits), from 2011, directed by Imre Azem, which uncovered some of the devastating consequences of investment driven urban planning and control.
The exhibition ReMerz City ReMystified is a re-staging of an on-going project which Aligrudic presented at a different stage in his graduation show last year from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (DK). The project was born from Aligrudic’s exploration of Istanbul beginning in 2013, when he went in search of Orhan Pamuk’s city as portrayed in the seminal memoires Istanbul: Memory and the City.
Through Aligrudic’s photographic lens a poetic situational transferral takes place. Pamuk’s city becomes a mesh of memories interwoven with Aligrudic’s experience of the actual concrete buildings, glass surfaces, financial hubs hovering above the historical buildings and shanty towns now all but swallowed by the modern cityscape.
ReMerz City ReMystified should be considered a contemporary appropriation of Kurt Schwitters’ ‘Merzbau’: Fragments and ever shifting perspectives impede any singular perception or any one vantage point. Consequently, in ReMerz City ReMystified Aligrudic is searching for the space ‘between’ – or rather ‘non space’ – between the super structure and the rubble.
Ultimately, Aligrudic poses questions about the urbanized reality of contemporary life. Where do we make room for life and how can we fully live in the confinement of rational space laid out in The Modern City? Can a little bit of chaos and irrational behaviour subvert the linear constructions of our urban existence? And can we carve out a piece of individual reality in the mesh of social regulations and order?
Alen Aligrudic was born in former Yugoslavia in 1977. He now lives and works in Copenhagen (DK), where he graduated from The School of Theory of Communication at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (DK), following studies at Funen Art Academy (DK) and FAMU Academy of Performing Arts, the Department of Still Photography, in Prague (CZ). ReMerz City ReMystified is Aligrudic’s first solo show in Sweden, though not his introduction. We recall his Greetings from Montenegro at Tensta Konsthall virtual gallery in Stockholm 2009, and his participation in New Nordic Photography at Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg 2012. In Denmark, he has exhibited at Brandts in Odense, Museet for Samtidskunst in Roskilde, Charlottenborg Kunsthal and Fotografisk Center in Copenhagen, to mention but a few. He has also exhibited in the Czech Republic, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Serbia and Turkey.