Nachtluftschlösser

(2022)




“One should not build castles in the air,” our goal-oriented society warns us from chasing futile dreams and illusions. But what can we find in them?

'Nachtluftschlösser'(‘Castles in the night air’) examines the construction of thoughts and realities and the perception of hidden dimensions. The desire to recreate a holographic house from a dream serves as a framework for visual thought constructs in the form of images, installations and projections at night.

The inspiration for the project was a vivid nightmare: In the dream, I found myself inside a curious home when the walls suddenly became transparent. As I walked through them to the outside, I entered another dimension where nothing else existed. There, only the translucent outline of the building was still visible, glowing like a hologram. I feared: if I lost sight of this house, would everything I know cease to exist?

During the residency ‘Silence Awareness Existence’ at Arteles in Finland, I set out to reconstruct this haunting yet elusive experience of the dream. Throughout the day, I created architectural models out of transparent cubes, which became the source for further images. At night, I projected these onto different temporary installations I had built in the Finnish landscape and re-photographed them in the darkness.

“First we must wash our eyes with darkness to see what we want to see.“
- Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

Starting off with the creation of simple cubic forms, the complexity of the process grew with multiple (re-) construction steps and the combination of different techniques such as analogue and digital photography, collages and animations, as well as projections, models and installations. The project thus interweaves multiple layers: 2- and 3-dimensionality, light and darkness, illusion and reality.

The holographic house becomes a metaphor for the mind, a complex system of interconnected building blocks, both concrete and fleeting. “If each thing one knows depends on other things one knows - isn’t that like castles built on air?” Marvin Minsky asks in his book The Society of Mind.

Is the world we know like a house, solely constructed by our minds? And can we look through the walls of reality?

Presentation at Arteles Creative Center, Finland, 2022
Presentation at Arteles Creative Center, Finland, 2022
Presentation at Arteles Creative Center, Finland, 2022
Presentation at Arteles Creative Center, Finland, 2022
Presentation at Arteles Creative Center, Finland, 2022
Presentation at Arteles Creative Center, Finland, 2022
Presentation at Arteles Creative Center, Finland, 2022
Presentation at Arteles Creative Center, Finland, 2022