JUDITH SAUPPER

Ideal Cities

Ideal cities is an attempt to compare different cities. Subjective perceptions of and in Berlin, Bucharest, New York and Vienna are presented in three distinct media: inked infographics, objects, and sound collages.

The five diagrams, executed in Indian ink, are based on the 2016 numbers for population density, homelessness, and overcrowding for these cities as released by Eurostat and the U.S. Census Bureau. The bar chartsfor each city exhibit distinct hatching patterns and allow their pleasing forms to distract from the defects in urban planning and society itself: the homelessness bar, nearly at the limits of the chart, seemingly negates its negative statement.

The hatching patterns in the diagrams recur in the five objects: personal experiences and predilections are on display as three-dimensional objects, but quotations from and references to female artists, such as Louise Nevelson in Ideal Cities #4 New York, mingle with those predilections. The objects absorb conceptual attributes previously established and attempt to restate them as spatial expressions.Taking New York as an example, vain New York seems small compared to its shadow - a shadow cast ahead by all those myths whose tendrils penetrate the city. And yet: conceited and pretentious, this dragging train impedes the city's forward progress.

The fifth city is called Ideal City #3 and shows the artist's dream: no homelessness, the overcrowding quota down to zero, and population density that offers the inhabitants breathing room. The objects offers a look at the prototype of the ideal dwelling: four walls, a pool, and a garden. The point is that inhabitants are granted equal privileges regardless of their social and financial situation. One and all, they each receive the same amount of capital to fund a home - and to begin living.

Five sound collages, linked via QR-codes, offer the most subjective access to the perceptions of the cities. Each collage is created from recordings of a particular city's typical noises and reveals the diagram and the object portraying that city.

 

Ideal Cities, Diagrams

2018, Indian ink on paper, each 50 x 50cm

Ideal Cities, #5 Vienna

2018, wire, plaster, soap stone, wood, stone, iron, approx 60 x 55 x 25cm

Ideal Cities, #5 Vienna

Detail

Ideal Cities, #5 Vienna

2018, sound collage, 1:54 min, MP3

Ideal Cities, #4 New York

2018, wooden slats, varnish,  plastic film, rotation motor, adhesive foil, variable dimension

Ideal Cities, #4 New York

2018, sound collage, 3:25 min, MP3

Ideal Cities, #1 Berlin

2018, soap stone, iron, yarn, approx 70 x 22 x 10cm

Ideal Cities, #1 Berlin

2018, sound collage, 3:07 min, MP3

Ideal Cities, #2 Bucharest

2018, wood, steel, epoxy resin, aluminium, approx 58 x 40 x 40 cm

Ideal Cities, #2 Bucharest

2018, sound collage, 2:41 min, MP3

Ideal Cities, #2 Bucharest

Detail

Ideal City, #3

2018, concrete, cardboard, wood, plaster, approx 80 x 55 x 20cm

Ideal Cities, #3 Ideal City

2018, sound collage, 2:16 min, MP3