Hunch # 14 Publicity
Hunch # 14 Publicity
2009 - 2010 For the series Commonness I've portrayed the cities Bordeaux, Kosice, Mechelen, Plzen and Mons all European cities that aspire to the title of European Capital of Culture. The resulting pictures display a similarity between the different cities, a discovery both surprising and unsettling since the cities compete for the title with distinctive assets. And yet, here they are shown to be overwhelmingly homogenous.

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”In Search of the Common European City

In the following photographic essay, Dieuwertje Komen searches for the anti- spectacular, common, and generic foundation that undergirds the image and structure of European cities today. The photographs present what can be seen as shared by all inhabitants of European cities, or perhaps of cities everywhere.

The preceding photographs, taken during the spring and summer of 2009, document the four cities of Mechelen, Plzen, Bordeaux, and Kosice, while at the same time exploring the generic and common character of the European city in general. Dutch photographer Dieuwertje Komen captures an alternative, anti- spectacular image of the typical European city, which is often celebrated for a profusion of public spaces, the uniqueness of civic buildings and social density, and the historical layering of urban structures. Each photograph frames often overlooked in-between urban conditions and non-static spaces. Komen reveals the material tatters of each city, exposing the manifold consistency of histories, fragments, and materials that have accumulated over time. Always in a perennial state of transformation, expansion, and compression, these spaces are densely embedded with anthropomorphic and cultural traces, in which the emptiness of the present seems the result of the slow processes of building and erasure. Komen develops a cross-section that confirms the existence of the European city as well invites the viewer to carefully follow her gaze to discover the repetition, accumulation, and variation of a limited vocabulary of topological devices and architectural typologies that defines the generic character and urban commonness of the European city. These photographs reveal the possibility of a consistent urban identity, one independent of both architectural language and style.”