landscapes_ is a research project on global transformations in rural areas, a sample of regional changes as exemplified by the Waldviertel, a part of Austria that has always been lagging behind in economic terms and is thus socially precarious, an area the topography of which is increasingly characterised by a shift from the rural to the suburban.

The structural symptoms of this urbanisation - not to be confused with urbanity - of rural areas are so complex that they can
no longer be expressed in the vocabulary of dialectic differentiation - city/country - and they are the subject this artistic project seeks to visualise. The quoted topos "landscape" is suspended in that it is spelled differently: land (crossed out) refers to the notion of land which has become obsolete; scapes, not a word in its own right, is supplemented by the pure grapheme "underscore" (_) that marks an interval, simultaneously separating and connecting elements, thus allowing for links - which open up ever new contexts and show that the identity of the rural is subject to shifts. Writing it in such a way performs the movement of giving meaning that happens in the spatialisation of time or in the temporalisation of space.

landscapes_ shows assemblages of photographic images referring to the changed spatial facts that reflect the hybridisation of the land. The photographs do not intend to be documentary in nature; in an attempt to link several perspectives, they are juxtaposed with three blocks of texts that quote legal provisions and political guidelines for zoning and building regulations; statistical facts and figures pertaining to the topics dealt with under the six subtitles enlarge the field of reference of image and text, thus enabling manifold readings.

mtl 2001