Candida Höfer｜ Wartesaal Köln, 1981
日前，德国莱比锡一个公共广播电视公司 Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk 的门户资讯主题 MEDIEN360G 中一位新闻记者针对冠状病毒所引发的“公众隔离现象”，与艺术家康迪达·赫弗后期投身于公共与半公开空间的系列作品提出一相互对应的观点。描述艺术家康迪达·赫弗在摄影作品中所捕捉到许多游离状态下的公共空间，如废弃的音乐厅和剧场、废弃的图书馆和博物馆等。这些在主观感知下所被认为对空虚的描绘，迫使我们重新组织对“公共空间”的概念，而人们是如何塑造公共空间，公共空间又如何反塑造人们？我们甚至可以将这些作品视为是一种象征性的符号，作为全球未来几周冠状病毒的恐惧预览。
Candida Höfer｜ Ethnographisches Museum Lissabon I, 1989
Candida Höfer｜ BNF Paris VI, 1998
Day 123 of the first case of coronavirus infection. Since January 23, 2020, the Wuhan municipal government announced the quarantine measures of the epidemic area, each city in many country began to issue "empty city order". The government closed all public outdoor and indoor spaces such as shopping malls, schools, libraries and art galleries, and urged people to stay at home as much as possible in order to control the spread of pneumonia in China. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday also announced a nationwide "social quarantine" starting at 5 am local time. On the same day, the U.S. government issued a national guideline advising people to cut back on partying and going out for the next 15 days, according to the BBC.
Recently, a journalist in MEDIEN360G, a portal of Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, a public broadcaster in Leipzig, Germany proposed a corresponding view on the "public isolation phenomenon" caused by coronavirus, together with artist Candida Höfer's later series of works devoted to public and semi-public space. The artist Candida Höfer captured many public spaces in a state of dissociation in her photographs, such as abandoned concert halls, theaters, libraries and museums. These subjective perceptions of emptiness force us to reorganize the concept of "public space", and how people shape public space also how public space shape people? We can even think of these serve as symbolic status, as a frightening preview of the next few weeks of coronavirus.
However, these "artificial" space work created by Höfer's later works are different from the "public isolation phenomenon" that she tried to project above, but there is still a balance of views to be struck. As for these railway station waiting rooms, libraries, museums, zoo, banks, opera houses and theaters, in Höfer's perspective, these public spaces have the strongest visual impact when there is "no one" in the picture. It also tries to analyze the form and structure of the space through the works and is also very interesting in the historical change of the space itself, because the original intention of construction is often contrary to the practical use.
With various coronavirus epidemic prevention strategy, make the crowd disperse in previous cognitive system under the so-called "public space", also fits into what Höfer said the "no one". But the definition is for the whole social public, "the public" jointly owned or used, when in the absence of "public", originally given symbolism makes Höfer’s footprint shape by the time the rules of empathic works appeared in the space is not the same point of view. space is endowed with another level of value significance in the accumulation of time because of the shaping of people's subjective atmosphere, the intervention of thoughts and the connection of emotions. Therefore, it can also be said that time, for human and space, is a process of interweaving rationality and sensibility. Such an angle also invites the audience to rediscover and think about the interaction between space and us and viceversa.
The fear preview of the virus shapes the new image meaning.
In her book released on 2004, "Architecture of Absence," Ms. Höfer said that her works regarding "spatial images" may or may not summon so-called "images" -- but if they are usually summoned, they are summoned mostly using their own space-time layers. Thus "image" replaces "spatial image" itself. Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright. In thier book Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture, argues that "the image summons the viewer," arguing that the creator/artist places meanings for the viewer to discover. But often times images create and interpret meaning through complex negotiations in the viewer's individual mind. In the individual perspective of the viewer, it is a process of meaning making, constituting the image structure and the codes and conventions that cannot be distinguished from the image content. The recent intervention of the coronavirus gives viewers a chance to reinterpret and experience Höfer's work from another perspective, creating a new image meaning. This new visual meaning does not arise in everyone, but there is no denying that in this context and at this point in time, the fear of the virus does exist, we can consider it as a sacred meaning given. For we have no power to forget this battle of winter, at this very moment, or many years from now. At the same time, under the control of the meaning givers, also complete a kind of grotesque memorial in the concept of Höfer's works.