Involved since her beginnings in a search for exploration of interior spaces through photography, Ursula Mumenthaler (born in 1955 in Staffelbach and living since her training at ESAV in Geneva), turned more and more from 2008 towards exterior spaces, even towards urban space
If, in the beginning, the artist, through a pictorial intervention in space itself, played on the notion of point of view - by truncating perspective - she deceives the eye in her current work with another determinant of photographic representation: scale.
The 2013 Urban series currently on display at the CPG in medium formats features aerial photographs of cities. To see closer, the illusion collapses and we perceive cardboard models. Towers whose facades are colour photographs of existing buildings (gleaned from around the world) and reduced to a scale of a model, are ravaged by bad weather and fire. The artist takes on the role of architects and dictators such as Albert Speer and Nero, who carried within them projects to destroy entire districts and cities.
These apocalyptic visions are extended in the current exhibition with the new 2014 Journal series, presented in the form of a book and an exhibition that includes 16 images from the publication. Ursula Mumenthaler collects press photographs representing natural or human disasters without distinction. By a clever process of "reversing" the image into negative, once it has been scanned, we can no longer distinguish what kind of disaster we have to deal with, floods, explosions, tsunamis, typhoons, or even pure and simple abandonment, or which cities it is.
Enlarged in poster format and glued edge to edge to the wall, this horror cabinet is somehow extended in the exhibition of Zhang Wei, who in the next room presents portraits of political leaders, the majority of whom have exercised their power over the past 20 years, without drastically taking charge of the fight against global warming that will increase the threat of destruction in many cities around the world in the coming years.
The exhibition is supported by the Fonds cantonal d'art contemporain, DIP, Geneva and the City of Geneva.
Her work raises questions on architecture and photography. In the recent serie Urban (2012-2013), the artist shows how architecture is dependant on the variations of view points and on the transformation of time. This way, she built a scale model of a city that she took photographs of under different angles for several months. During this process, she was working on the model by simulating s [...]
Her work raises questions on architecture and photography. In the recent serie Urban (2012-2013), the artist shows how architecture is dependant on the variations of view points and on the transformation of time. This way, she built a scale model of a city that she took photographs of under different angles for several months. During this process, she was working on the model by simulating some human and natural catastrophes such as snow storms, floods, fires or chemical accidents. Ursula Mumenthaler had already been using these urban models in 2008 in La Reconquête on which she let weeds grow, slowly and silently but surely.