Alter///scrinium. 10 Theses Of The Architecture. Exhibition Part 2011
Jonas Dahlberg. Invisible Cities
  • Director: Jonas Dahlberg

    Born in Borås Sweden 1970, lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.

    Selected personal exhibitions:
    2009  —  “Think about death” Korjamoo Gallery Helsinki
    2007  —  Galeria Foksal, Warsaw Poland
    2003  —  Centre pour l’image contemporaine, Geneva, Switzerland

    Selected group exhibitions:
    2006  —  “Ideal City  —  Invisible City” Zamosc Poland/Potsdam Germany
    2003  —  ”Delays and Revolutions”, 50th Biennale di Venezia, Italian Pavilion, Venice, Italy 
    2002  —  Manifesta 4 European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Frankfurt, Germany

2004,  24 min.
Alter///scrinium. 10 Theses Of The Architecture. Exhibition Part

Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm/Berlin

Among the definitions provided by the social and economic geography dictionary there is a concept of “abandoned settlements” that literature and colloquial speech refer to as “ghost cities”. Being abandoned by their residents for whatever reasons and differing from the cities destroyed by wars or natural disasters, they still have their architectural landscape and infrastructure, but become some enigmatic places with their outside not revealing real reasons of this present state. The majority of abandoned cities is a result of swift, sometimes improvident reaction to economic environment change. They have experienced both a spectacular rise, and a spectacular fall. Ghost cities are incredible illustrations of complex economic and political processes in the modern world, which are reasons for spontaneous migrations, demographic shifts and economic activity fluctuations. Also experience of these cities demonstrates a historic process, and, on a larger scale, the phenomenon of life itself in the context of short timeframe. In the world where internal organization is based on total registration, where control is an integral part of our everyday life, abandoned cities with their story represent revolutionary ideas about total freedom in a paradoxical way. Jonas Dahlberg’s project Invisible Cities is an abstract and poetic journey into ideal city structure deprived of its major function that is living space planning. The narration brings us to a visual essay on archeological sites or places of famous historic events. But since the city does not have any material connection to the reality, the audience is left with a special type of potential representation; it is reconstruction of an object that has no form in time and space due to its virtual nature in general. The author does a detailed research on the virtuality phenomenon by using an original strategy of image making. His city unlike other similar creations is not a futuristic fantasy or a result of city planning simulator, but a utility place for determination of human relations nature, strategies of living processes management and organization via natural scientist’s view with a special optic strategy. Invisible Cities is a ghost city initially having no history and withdrawn from memory dimension. It has its own representation with the help of art rather than interconnected reasons chain. At the same time this city does not suit the utopian principles, since its city structure does not declare any innovative organization forms, political manifestations and loud images of designed future.

Place of Dahlberg’s city in things hierarchy is impossible to find. While it obviously exists, it slips away in a paradoxical way; its fluid nature, emphasized by continual shooting, cannot be registered, cannot be inserted into an adequate description mode. The artist in his project hav- ing not only video, but photos, books and different residents list, creates a certain virtual world without limits and is supposed to spread all over the place. By creating such an unidentified object hidden somewhere between time and space the artist starts a discussion on our life organization within human history, making us think about possible modification of existing order of things.