Lecture by key note speaker Aglaia Konrad, visual artist, Brussels
with an introduction by Janneke Wesseling.
Aglaia Konrad is artist and photographer, based in Brussels. She teached at the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht till the end of 2007 and is currently teaching at the Hogeschool Sint Lukas, Brussels. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions in Siegen, Antwerp, Geneva, Graz, Cologne, New York, as well as in international collective shows: Dokumenta X (1997), Cities on the Move (1998-1999), Orbis Terrarum. Ways of Worldmaking (2000), Talking Cities (2006). The work got summerised through several books such as Elasticity (2002) and Iconocity (2005). Metropolitan urban space forms a key focus in her photographical work. Since the early 1990s, she has been exploring the post-war urban landscape and its various manifestations in a wide array of mega cities on different continents. Aglaia Konrad discovered the Egyptian ‘Desert Cities’ during a brief visit to Cairo in 1992, becoming intrigued by the vast scale of this long term project. The project she instigated explores the application of modernist principles to the architecture of the new cities that have been emerging over the last 15 years, but still seem hardely occupied. Reflecting on these dwellings that developed alongside archeolocical sites in an exoticised landscape, the project questions urban planning strageties in a society where the consequencies of recent social reforms have not yet fully materialised. The 2004 Award Grand Prix de la Ville de Veveyallowed to set the outlines for this artistic research on ‘Desert Cities’. Various stages of audio-visual production on the topic have already been shown in Vevey, Nancy and Essen. The book Desert Cities frames the last phase of the project research, the making of which was in large part made possible by the 2006 Albert Renger-Patzsch-Award.