Script of Demolition presents the photographic and video archive of
the Fink family’s demolition business. In their work, the blasting engineers use the
camera as a measuring apparatus to precisely study the seconds in which a house is demolished.
The image production and its analysis function here like a permanent calibration between
the idea and the reality to optimise the process of demolition.
In her artistic work, Alina Schmuch also uses the medium of photography. For the project Script of Demolition she steps back and instead curates the blasting engineer’s images to investigate different possible typologies in their work. She asks – how are these images informed by the technical work of a blasting engineer? And how might this differ to a reading in an artistic or photographic discourse? Beside the development in blasting technology, the material also reveals the development of imaging media.
Through studies in motion it becomes evident how the building collapses; from one storey into the next, the buildings interior and its methods of construction are made visible. As the explosions are prepared for – we see technical equipment, improvised structures and dissected buildings. In an examination of these new formations, these images show us a dismantling of the fundamental characteristics of architecture.
In his essay The Photography of Blasting and the Blasting of Photography, Philip Ursprung (ETH Zurich) writes “Both occupations (the photographer and the blasting engineer) are, if you will, anachronistic métiers. […] In both métiers the moment of trigger is important (ignition and shutter, respectively). Within a split second a fixed state is set into flux, or the flux of time is fixed.”
Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe 2014