48 hours and Urban Rooms

Austrian photographer Yenny Huber works with film to explore “landscape cities” (a phrase by Guy Bourdin meaning studies of cities through their buildings and architecture instead of traditional landscapes). Her projects 48 hours and Urban Rooms show the many facets of various cities — empty, lonely places and streets; grand buildings; railway stations and other public sights — all compressed into multiple, dense layers, that take the spectator on a visual journey through urban space. 48 stunden (48 hours) is a photographic project exploring the diversity and contradictions of a city. It looks not only at places of wealth and prosperity, peace and quiet, but also at those that have been neglected and forgotten.

Utilizing 48 hours only to capture each place, the project plays with the concept and meaning of time within contemporary society while also engaging with the deep complexity that is embedded within every center of history and culture. It visually confronts the loneliness present in any large metropolis.

48 hours forms an abstract interpretation, a collective observation, and intensive search for the complex character of a city, its people and its country.

Another project by Huber, usually projected in large scale with live sound and performance, Urban Rooms presents a multi-sensory experience for the viewer, a visual journey through the multiple layers of urban space, human life and emotion.

Caught within the projection, the audience becomes both voyeur and center stage character as they are looking simultaneously into and out of their “projection windows”, watching the continuously changing imagery of their urban lives and surrounding.

During the original performance nights, the rotating imagery is accompanied by a specifically composed abstract sound piece, a live soprano and shadow-performance that visualizes the viewer’s own “reflection” — the figure in our urban surroundings, the anonymous character in contemporary society. All of Huber’s images are captured analogue, layered in-camera, with no digital manipulation.

— Marina Yolbulur-Nissim
Curator for the KunstHausWien
Vienna, Austria

Yenny Huber was one of three photographers from Austria chosen to represent Austria this year at the nightlong projection of photographs from 27 European countries at the Rencontres Festival in Arles. Marina Yolbulur-Nissim served as curator for the selections from Austria.