Tuesday, 27 May 2008


Familiar Spaces - Helsinki © Klaus W.Eisenlohr 2006


Slow Space, the film showing at Light Reading Series, no.w.here lab this week (28th May), is a spatial and iconographic investigation into architectural space. Filmmaker and artist Klaus W. Eisenlohr, filmed contemporary and modernist glass constructions of vernacular architecture in Chicago, using camera moves, which go past the frame.

Slowness, hereby, does not refer to the movements of the camera exploring space, or the progression of images or scenes. Slowness, rather, seems to refer to the quality of modern architectural or urban space the filmmaker is seeking for: the qualities beyond the functionality of traffic, production and economical value. Accordingly, he dwells on each visited site, takes the viewer into captivation, never quite giving way to immersion but always referring back to locality and place.

Throughout the film a discussion about public space embarks, which is only loosely related to the mostly interior places shown. However, the interviewer/filmmaker (who is to be seen) seems to linger on the same questions in relation to space, he otherwise uses his film camera as a research tool for the - in relation to utilitarian views rather esoteric - question about the qualities of space.

In the art works that followed the filming of Slow Space, Klaus W. Eisenlohr continued with a number of panorama photography series, which he calls Familiar Spaces, the first series of which he had already started in Chicago. With his most recent work Familiar Spaces – Helsinki, depicted here, the artist again searches for a “desire for modernity” in the contemporary city.

‘Public Space’ in certain ways is as much an icon of modernity - of the “project of modernity” - as ‘glass architecture’ is, at least what is concerned with Europe. With this research in the Metropolitan Area of Helsinki, the larger urban environment consisting of Vantaa, Espoo and Helsinki, and its urban places, Klaus W. Eisenlohr asks with his work about the tradition and continuity, or the possible new definition of public space in this young, and still rapidly growing European capital.

This photographic work Familiar Spaces – Helsinki is largely influenced by a cinematic point of view, and it has been presented as double projection in Helsinki/ FIN and Freiburg i. Br. and Berlin/ DE.