Atlas – In The Spiral Galaxy of the Modern Age
An atlas is a picture album of the world.The walk-through atlas created for Model and Ruin has been built in the dome of the Mausoleum in the Georgium. The collection of Sehmaschinen ‘visual slot machines’ and Bilderfahrzeuge ‘image vehicles’ tells a host of stories from a contemporary perspective on the theme of what we term modernity and the present age. The presentation employs historical gadgetry: the workings of today’s primarily digital media are experienced through the medium of more archaic analogue technologies, including diorama, zoetrope and Rolodex. We take a step back, so to speak, in order to get a better view. The Mnemosyne Atlas by the art historian Aby Warburg, who died in 1929, serves as a key inspiration here: his study of the ‘afterlife’ of expression, forms and behaviour through the ages into the present epoch. The term Bilderfahrzeug or ‘image vehicle’ was coined by Warburg to reference reproducible and portable image media, such as coins or stamps, that disseminate the depictions they bear across the world. The atlas’s various stations invite visitors to engage in active viewing. The object under consideration changes according to one’s position, perspective and context.Slot machine, desk and cinema-of-the-mind, diorama, flat file cabinet and zoetrope await activation and animation through fresh associations. Set off on a journey and discover images – remembered and imagined, dreamed or dreaded – inside the spiral galaxy of modernity.
Förderverein Mausoleum e. V. Dessau, Stadtarchiv Dessau-Roßlau und der Tierpark Dessau