Switzerland - Shendra Stucki

Reality described through the image of the city


For the last four years, most of my installations have sprung from a fixed idea of mine: the idea of representing the city.

Initially it all began with the aim, shared by many artists, of representing reality, the most everyday world that we feel around us, the one that best represents the present day and the human being who inhabits it. So I read a lot of newspapers, forming a thesis that this type of reality was intangible at world level, and so it could exist as a concept of reality only in a subjective form. I worked on this concept, or rather on how, in the world, reality is made known in a global form without considering the fact that every subject processes reality according to his own mind.

My first installations representing this concept were in an ironic key, a kind of invention of false news reports of catastrophes, depicted with videos using paper models of cities. So it was a kind of hoax to express the absurdity of our attachment to reality, considering it isn’t our own.

Still following the image of the city that was becoming important for me, I began using illusion in my video installations. In this case the image was projected on a 3D screen, creating the impression that the actions in the video were taking place directly on the screen which was made in the form of a model of a city.

The city thus became for me the ideal subject to represent the reality of contemporary man. In my opinion it is a suitable setting where all the actions of the present day human being can be summed up, and the apex of his evolution.

With the installation of a tree, I wanted to enclose all these concepts in a form that is completely dissociated from the image of the city but that contains some common concepts.

The tree represents a perfect system of networks and connections that creates life by taking energy from the bottom to produce its real appearance at the top. This also happens in cities, because everything that we don’t see is fundamental for the operation of everything that actually appears. The tree is a combination of nature and artifice, like human life among city buildings. The tree appears to be dying, but its colours disprove it, as does the illusion of its real function. A city is always alive, even though it does not directly show it.


Text by
the artist