Project info

A bee hive with a lot of colourful boxes? A collection of mailboxes in a multi-family dwelling? A photograph in the tradition of serial art? Or a score, based on the model of the “synaesthetic” keyboard of Alexander Skrjabins?

The first associations you experience when you look at the Compositions are not so far off. The content of the photos is in fact “residential colonies”. Technically they operate as a work of art in the age of its technical reproducibility. And optically they vibrate rhythmically – one time temperamental, another more monotonous. And yet they are always shot through with syncopes.
Roger Frei searches for residential communities built on a large scale – in the truest sense of the word. He is searching for a “home” in a mass residential construction that is so often perceived as anonymous. He has focused his vision on the objects of so-called residential housing functionalism as well as specimens of contemporary Swiss architecture that are considered exemplary and classics of modernism.
He systematically walks from floor to floor, photographs walls in hallways at regular intervals and puts all of the photos together digitally as collages, so that they coalesce into a serial composition.
This creates a “virtual cross section” through the building – it almost brings to mind a combination of Gordon Matta Clark’s Splitting from 1974 and Ed Ruscha’s Every Building on the Sunset Strip from 1965.
While Matta Clark brought intimate space to light, Frei is now moving along the interface between the public and private. Compared to Matta Clark and Ed Ruscha, Frei’s work reminds you more of the “abstract ornamentation” of Gerhard Richters Kirchenfenster (2006) or Gertrud Arndts Gewobener Teppich (1927) .....