Götz Diergarten

METROpolis

EXHIBITION Sep 6 — Dec 30, 2008

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. 1 (London - Chalk Farm), from the series 'METROpolis', 2007

2 c-prints / diasec / Diptych

75 x 100 cm (each)

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. 2 (Helsinki - Rautatientori), from the series 'METROpolis', 2008

c-print / diasec

75 x 100 cm

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (Brussels - Halleport), from the series 'METROpolis', 2006

2 c-prints / diasec / Diptych

100 x 75 cm (each)

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (Amsterdam - Weesperplein), from the series 'METROpolis', 2006

2 c-prints / diasec / Diptych

75 x 100 cm (each)

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (London - Marble Arch), from the series 'METROpolis', 2007

c-print / diasec

75 x 100 cm

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (London, Highbury & Islington), from the series 'METROpolis', 2007

c-print / diasec

75 x 100 cm

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (Prag - Vysonská), from the series 'METROpolis', 2008

c-print / diasec

75 x 100 cm

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (Berlin - Alexanderplatz), from the series 'METROpolis', 2008

2 c-prints / diasec / Diptych

75 x 100 cm (each)

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (London - Covent Garden), from the series 'METROpolis', 2007

c-print / diasec

75 x 100 cm

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (Prag - Malostranská), from the series 'METROpolis', 2008

c-print / diasec

75 x 100 cm

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (Prag - Mustek), from the series 'METROpolis', 2008

c-print / diasec

75 x 100 cm

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (Prag - Námestí Miru), from the series 'METROpolis, 2008

c-print / diasec

75 x 100 cm

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (Prag - Jirího z Podebrad), from the series 'METROpolis', 2008

c-print / diasec

75 x 100 cm

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (Prag - Flora), from the series 'METROpolis', 2008

c-print / diasec

75 x 100 cm

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

GÖTZ DIERGARTEN (*1972)

o.T. (Prag - Hradcanská), from the series 'METROpolis', 2008

c-print / diasec

75 x 100 cm

© Götz Diergarten / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Kicken Berlin

Götz Diergarten (born in Mannheim in 1972) examines the visual aspects of every day, functional architecture in his typological series. His photographs of German building facades, changing cabins on French beaches, vacation homes, and British seaside resort architecture consolidate the documentary style of his teacher, Bernd Becher and expand upon Becher’s austere concept by adding color. Kicken Berlin debuts Diergarten’s METROpolis, a comprehensive new project that discovers the visual plethora of European subway stations. In METROpolis, Götz Diergarten enters new photographic territory. Whereas his earlier work concentrated exclusively on single outdoor objects, his new venture examines specific interiors in public space: the passageway, tunnels, and station platforms of underground mass transit. Diergarten’s comprehensively designed study of the architectural underground also encompasses the myth of the modern metropolis. Whether looking at the metro, the U-Bahn, or the tube, his project agenda will take him to over 20 geographical European capitals. Kicken Berlin is showing Diergarten’s systematic coverage of the first five locations in the series already complete: Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest (2006), London (2007) and - most recently - Berlin. Götz Diergarten approaches his work systematically. He examines the entire underground routing network and chooses specific stations. He photographs various elements – the wall surfaces in front of and behind the rails, train platforms, flights of stairs, connecting corridors – in strictly frontal compositions. Arches and curves allow him to plumb the potential of central perspective in novel ways. He heightens the contrast in these images and intensifies the color. By moving from exterior to interior space, the traces of (now) artificial light in the highlights and reflections gain presence. He waits for moments of stillness in the stream of passengers, and chooses camera perspectives and subject framing so that the human figure and traces of daily life are completely excluded. The every day, transitory function that a subway station fulfills for its innumerable users recedes entirely in the beauty of the forms and colors in these "photographic representations". Their painterly quality is emphasized with great suggestive force in the expanse of wall color. The various building materials, the shapes, colors, and patterns are, on the one hand, recorded in service to descriptive objectivity with documentary-like precision, but they are transformed by the image into an abstraction of color and planes. The influence of Constructivism, Concrete Art, and Color Field painting on Diergarten’s visual language is apparent. Diergarten uses color with ease, also thanks in part to the American tradition begun in the 1970’s; to William Eggleston’s or Stephen Shore’s subtle explorations of everyday life for example, or to the intense expanses of color seen in Joel Meyerowitz’s or Harry Callahan’s work. Diergarten broadens his image variety by arranging views in diptychs and triptychs, a device which both adds intrigue and deepens the visual effect. The doubled image urges viewers to make a parallel examination. The shift in perspective pulls the view in opposite directions and sharpens the viewer’s concentration. This is his way of "schooling the process of looking - to slow it down, and to sensitize the eye to what is all around us" (Diergarten 2005). METROpolis strengthens Götz Diergarten’s singular position in the ranks of contemporary art photographers. His typological approach to comparative seeing and his study of architectural subjects place him firmly in the Becher School tradition. The variety of visual discoveries made by this generation of Becher students can be seen in the comparison of Diergarten’s work to Axel Hütte’s color triptych, Transit Berlin (1979-1992). Whereas Hütte contrasts details against overall views, Diergarten condenses "as is" reality into highly abstract imagery which nonetheless preserves its representational roots.