Featured: Karlsplatz (4.) – 15 May 2022.
I recently spent 30 days in Vienna, examining her history of art, architecture, music, and science. A nation’s capital city is also worthy of photographic examination, and there are many opportunities throughout the city to absorb Vienna’s unique urban charm and style. I snapped over 10-thousand images which will keep me busy “in the archive” for some time. The following three images stand out, at least for now. Perhaps, I’ll feel differently about them in 3 weeks, 3 months, or 3 years’ time.
Instead of letting a video “flow” (or through) a set of eyeballs, an advantage of a still photograph is the “freeze”, forcing the viewer to pause, evaluate, and ask questions. In the image are elements of colour splashes, text, line, and flow; as well as layers foreground, “mid-ground”, and background. The red letters “RENN” on the building facade represents the Vienna offices for Austrian artist Lois Renner (1961–2021). I waited some time, before a person with a matching colour of clothes and walking at the appropriate place in the pavement came along. The natural movement of the image begins with the person in blue, moving right to left, in concert with the blue “Einbahn” (one way) sign.
Various elements come together in this image near the Anker bread-making factory. With diesel and petrol hovering or surpassing 2 Euros per litre, people who rely on driving are feeling a big financial pinch, which is likely echoed by the emotional gesture of bewilderment in the mural. The Austrian chain of petrol stations is called “Turmöl” which translates literally to “Tower Oil.” However, the German word sounds and looks a lot like the English word “turmoil”, which makes for a delightful double-pun. The “Y” in the red DPD logo mirrors the gesture by the woman in the mural. With the possible divergence of seeing SPAR in German meaning “to save (money)” against high petrol prices, SPAR is in fact an acronym for the Dutch grocery store chain.
In the outer districts of Vienna, the pace slows down on a Saturday night. People satisfy the munchies with a “Wurst” at the sausage stand, as trams trundle by and U-Bahn trains rumble overhead. Waiting for the change of lights to cross the intersection is my metaphor of waiting for a sign to make a change. That’s where the destination-highway signs come into play: “you might be ‘here’ (in Vienna), but you could be off elsewhere on the Autobahn (to Prague, Brno, or Budapest).” This all goes straight to my skull, because I’m out and about at night on the penultimate day of my month-long stay in the Austrian capital city; soon, I’ll fly west to Frankfurt, and back to Canada. And that is why I’m reminded of “Fly by Night”, from Rush.
I made all photos above with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime. Acknowledgements to Sarah Wilke for LAPC no.210 for the week of 30 July to 5 August 2022. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-n9k.