31.5 x 78 inches
Berlin-based photographer Stefanie Buerkle's work follows the epic style that is associated with contemporary German photography. In her Useful Illusions series, Buerkle offers a comparison between spaces of science and spaces of everyday life to illuminate cultural shifts that occur when theories are moved into reality. In Panorama Paris, the left half of the photograph shows an image of the Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris. An anatomical model of a man is shown standing at the head of a room full of encased creatures, objects of natural history. The image exemplifies a nineteenth-century belief in man's dominance, through knowledge and classification, over his world as well as his own body. Buerkle contrasts this image with a photograph of modern-day public space: a terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris. By juxtaposing these two images of public spaces, Buerkle prompts a comparison of cultural and social values, as well as epistemological theory, of the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries.
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