Friday, April 17, 2015

Rediscover the city

Flâneurs don’t have any practical goals in mind, aren’t walking to get something, or to go somewhere. What flâneurs are doing is looking. Opening their eyes and ears to the scene around them, wondering about the lives of those they pass, constructing narratives about the houses, eavesdropping on conversations, studying how people dress and street life in general. Flâneurs relish what they discern and discover.’ - Alan Fletcher 

Fletcher describes the phenomenon of the flâneur and Charles Baudelaire also wrote about the city wanderer. Many writers and artists where fascinated by the effects of the city on its inhabitants and how the people use the spaces. But what about us as the viewers of the twenty-first century? Are we still into the city?

Mostly the people move through the city from A to B in order to achieve a specific goal. The way they move through the city becomes a routine. They have become familiar with the space, they don't notice anything new. 
There are different functions on the site and the different functions are used by different people:
The people they don’t see, the people that use the other functions, because of the time difference.
People of the modern society don’t pay attention to their surrounding and therefore it would be interesting to investigate the definition of the modern flâneur.

The aim of the research is to rediscover the city through photography. The local people that are familiar with the space, should perceive the city in a new way.
The images should show unseen or unnoticed physical features of the specific space.
It should also show how the spaces are used by different people over time, it will unite people that usually wouldn't meet due to the difference in time. In this way the viewer of these images will travel in time with the people in the images. 

The J. Paul Getty Museum explains that William Eggleston’s work ’monumentalize everyday subjects, everything is equally important; every detail deserves attention.’ His colour film photographs capture ’democratically’ unspectacular events of our everyday life. In his book ’Los Alamos’ Eggleston suggests through the arrangement of different images stories behind the images.

The project focuses on Findlater Place, a cleft place in Dublin 1, dividing different functions from each other. It can be seen as a transition space to other places.
The space is used in different ways because of different functions: Bord Pleannala is next to the Best Western Academy Plaza Hotel and DIT, College of Catering faces the St. Thomas Church.
All these diverse functions attract different people and draw them in.

The first idea was to stitch different focused images together as a collage to suggest a story. David Hockney, a well-known photographer, plays with perspective and details through overlaying images together. Nevertheless the assembled image appears too flat and looses its initial focus. Every image tells its own story and should take its own position.

Hence the new and final idea is to link images together and would be gathered in a book.
By combining one image on either side; a story is suggested. New ways of perceiving the space and events within a space should encourage the viewer to rediscover the familiar surrounding. Constructing narratives and lives beyond images are the main interests for our investigation. The city is more than a transition space.

Lucy Buratto, Arwin Hidding, Christina Kerr, Asal Mohtashami

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