3 OCTOBER – 21 NOVEMBER 2008
“Like beached whales the blockhouses in Uta Kögelsberger’s photographs appear washed up on the sand. Functionless, decaying, desolate, they are reabsorbed into the landscape.” Francesca Fuchs
Bunker Series comprises of large format colour photographs of the military structures built on the beaches of Normandy and England in World War II and explores the relationship between representation, perception and architecture.
The work seeks to propose parallels between mechanisms that are at play in the construction of images and architecture, investigating ways in which starkly contrasting architectural environments can be seen to be carriers of belief structures.
Built in order to defend occupation of the land, these monumental structures could be described as physical incorporations of terror, their monumentality acting as a demonstration of the power of the state which induced individuals into the service of an ideological whole, and yet their gradual re-
assimilation into the natural environment has become a metaphor of failure and defeat. Marking more than 50 miles of coastline, the bunkers and blockhouses lie abandoned along the beaches, becoming one with the land they once attempted to hold captive.
In his examination of World War II bunkers in Bunker Archeology, Paul Virilio explores the symbolic narrative of the architecture and changes in the technology of warfare. These structures have come to symbolise a real politick of warfare that is dependent on the mass mobilisation of ‘bodies’ and the occupation of territory which stands in contradiction to assertions about the nature of post-modern war as ‘virtual’, technological and distanced conflict.
Uta Kögelsberger has exhibited widely throughout the UK and internationally including Danielle Arnaud in London, The Museum of Fine Art in Houston, Texas and Laurence Miller Gallery in New York. She has been awarded the Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship and the Stanley Picker Fellowship, and a monograph of her work was published in 2004 by PhotoNORTH. This exhibition is part of a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.