Phänomene und Codes
1998, 00:25:08, PAL, color, sound
Since 1991, Sandra Becker has been working with photography, film, and video; she places processes of perception and the subject of space and time at the center of her work. The artist, who grew up in Bonn, Ankara, Lima, and New York, directs her attention at major cities and their urban structures, which she does not explore in terms of concrete social, architectural, or historical circumstances, but as spatial structures of time and “transitory zones of mediation” (Horst Bredekamp). Her gaze is focused on the aspect of mobility, the motion of people in space, on the one hand in the sense of measurable, physical time and at the same time in terms of the subjective, individual experience of time. She does not seek to depict urban space per se, but to develop reduced and fragmented narrative structures. Her approach is intuitive and poetic: she operates with repetition, acceleration and deceleration, using a lack of focus, reduced color, and multiple points of view to lend her images a “poetry of waiting” (Becker).
In Phänomene und Codes the artist combines shots of concrete buildings, like the Berlin Television Tower, with abstract images of skyscrapers, building sites, and cranes, along with shots taken of city dwellers: passersby moving through public space, people waiting, office construction workers. A square mark on a New York street is crossed in all directions by various vehicles. Becker combines the individual segments in forward and reverse in constantly new ways, combining them with text fragments from off camera that present claims and question them. In this way, she generates spaces of experience in which the gaze is decelerated.