Florian Merdes - Steamcracker
In Steamcracker, Florian Merdes deconstructs and reconstructs the image of the German industrial and chemical city of Ludwigshafen am Rhein in a manner analogous to the chemical process of steam cracking, in which long-chain molecules are split into their individual parts and can then be assembled into any new compound.
In the numerous versions of the place that are sketched out in the book from the close-ups and lyrical text inserts, the characteristic of this city emerges; its state of limbo, the not-yet-arrived in a defined identity and the search for its own image.
There is also something unrealised and latent in Ernst Bloch’s descriptions of his home town; Ludwigshafen as an expression of the station-like nature of our modern life, as not-at-home in the not-yet, as Wild West and Futurum.
Based on these and other imaginary images, Steamcracker deals with the city as a projection space. Between legibility and unrecognisability, reality and pictoriality, photography and supposedly graphic image, things appear in a new light. An image emerges that gives space to possibilities and traces while tracing the open.
Florian Merdes, *1989 in Heidelberg, Germany, lives and works in Leipzig, Germany.
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