Non-Site Specificity

from the catalogue-text by Georg Schöllhammer

... non-sites, places where one does not stay, or only precariously; places where the social withdraws, at it were, into the subjects roaming, passing through these flights of spaces. In her series of photographs entitetled non-sites, Maria Theresia Litschauer enters a terrain that stands for the duality of city-nature in innumerable movie and television narratives. Architectural formulas of civil engineering, from the of the city, telling of transportation, production of deviance, bodies in motion, afterimages of feeling totally subordinate to space and its disposition - this is what these photographs precisely frame. [...]
The cold, often meager light that floods through them is oppressive, makes one uneasy, prompts hastiness. In the title of her new photo work, mtl, who makes this light a leading actor in her series, refers to Robert Smithon's famous notion of non-site. In the context of that artistic theory, Smithson spoke of spatial transfers, with non-site denoting a place within pointing to an absent exterior. In Litschauer's photographs this dislocation, this shift of place happens on a different level. Viewers turn into the beholders of something transient in the space of the photograph itself: contours of people, visually fading away, blurred by the open shutter and the presence of non-sites, passers-by who in turn become observers of the spaces on the other side of the picture.
Ascertaining this other presence in the picture, in space, becomes a game for the viewer between the gaze of the static camera and that which seems to disappear before it. It is this paradox that evokes the feeling that these non-sites are radically conditioned. [...] Litschauer's non-sites photographs are also about the deep cultural roots of perseptual patterns in the notion of space and subject derived from modernity and modernism.
The spaces depicted are anti-spaces, negatively inverted forms of the utopian planning of a "traffic-efficient" modern metropolis. In the mediatized pictures of these spaces ideas of the coporeal as well as psychical conditioning of subjects are united. [...] Litschauer's volatilizations, her transient objectifications of the body virtually invert the usually repelled and culturally pessimistic gaze onto these sites into something positive. Her photography builds a fragile bridge between observation and observed, oscillating between objective and subjective motifs and the corporeal description of the real.