Last One Out Should Turn Off the Light

Alexandra Matzner, 2012

With her miniature architecture, Judith Saupper addresses the social phenomena of urbanization. In the object Last One Turns Off the Lights she combines a plethora of stylistically dissimilar building blocks. Painstaking detail adds to the absurdity of this architectural fantasia. A car park has been added next to the top floor; a fire-escape ladder leads into nowhere, and a topping-out tree perches on top to symbolize the building’s successful extension. The unchecked and apparently uncontrolled expansion of this architecture not only echoes the disparate lifstyles of its inhabitants but also ironically questions post-modern living conditions. Saupper is harking back to the Tower of Babel, the traditional symbol of hubris and failure. The lack of communication and human relationships between its inhabitants finds expression in the disparity of their dwellings. If, through migration of industry and workers, the once up-and-coming metropolis becomes a necropolis then the last one should indeed turn off the lights.