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OSTKREUZ: The City – Becoming and Decaying
May 16, 2014 - June 27, 2014
One day, not long ago, humanity crossed a threshold without even realizing it. Nothing was different after that day, yet something had in fact changed. From then on, more people were living in [the city] than in the countryside.
Now is the time to get a picture of this city, a city that could be anywhere, a city not shown on any map. It is time to determine the ways in which this city reveals itself, to recognize the forces coming out of the city, time to write the new chapters that are emerging from within. This is the task the photographers of the OSTKREUZ Agency have set themselves.
They have brought together images from around the world of the city’s growth and decay. They show how the city of Ordos, in China, is springing up in the middle of the steppes and how Pripyat, in Ukraine, is being taken over again by nature; how the city of Lagos, in Nigeria, is expanding uncontrollably in its tangled growth; how the city of Manila is clustering into slums, and how Detroit, in the United States, is decaying at its core; how Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, can barely keep up with its own growth, and how the city of Gaza, in Palestine, is being leveled to the ground; how the city of Las Vegas lives from appearance, Auroville from ideals, and Atlantis as myth.
What we ultimately have before us is a portrait of a city that brings together all cities, a city that stretches back before memory and extends beyond our imagination. A city that seems timeless, and yet, at each and every moment, is precisely the city we humans have created. People enable cities to grow and decline. They come and flee, build and destroy, press toward the center and remain on the outskirts, seek community, and stand alone – people who want to fulfill their aspirations. They have created a place for this: it is called the city.
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