WALKING IN PLACE is Larissa Fassler’s first solo exhibition at SEPTEMBER. As cartographies of everyday places in modern urban environments, the works of the Canadian artist focus on seemingly unspectacular aspects of the city, as they are experienced on a daily basis by its inhabitants. Fassler’s works are based on innumerable surveys, photo documentation, as well as historical and architectural research, which she implements in sculpture and drawing. She focuses her attention on subway stations, streets, traffic routes and squares, spaces that are the product of bureaucratic problem-solving rather than design or social sensitivity.
While Fassler uses the conventional means of architectural representation such as models, plans, drafts and blueprints to reflect these sites, her work differs fundamentally from the usual procedures of urban planners and architects. She employs her own subjective systems to survey public spaces. As in her large, strangelydisproportional cardboard models and in her interlinked, often excessive drawings and digital prints Fasslercombines a critical investigation of urban situations with formal and conceptual issues. While, for example,her own step lengths or the different concentrations of graffiti, posters and passersby can become the architectural scale for Fassler’s “mind maps” or sculptures, the concentration, composition and style determine the respective work.
WALKING IN PLACE unites Larissa Fassler’s most recent drawings with one of her central works of recent years. Hallesches Tor (2005) is a model-like replica of a pedestrian underpass, combining different levels and platforms of the Berlin subway station of the same name. With Regent StreetRegent’s Park (Dickens Thought It Looked Like a Racetrack) from 2009, Fassler investigates, based on a historical example, major 19th-century urban-development changes that favored the individual’s freedom of movement for the first time, but whose architecture restricted collective movements and gatherings. Fassler incorporates the phenomenon of accelerated individual perception in the cartographical principle of her drawings. For the work she roamed Regent Street and the area around the park for several days, photographing as many shop and street signs, fences and barriers as she could. She subsequently redrew and scanned them, and then installed them in a true-to-scale site plan of the streets. The result is an overload of pictures, logos, signals and signs that regulate the movements and perceptions of passersby. In addition to the central work, original drawings based on Regent Street/Regent’s Park will be shown.