The Mirrored City
Reflecting Urban Situations
The installation "The Mirrored City" enabled new spatial experiences, thereby encouraging viewers to reflect on familiar and not so familiar features. And it brought the sea to Graz.
A city often appears more unfamiliar to its residents than it does to visiting tourists. "The Mirrored City" aimed to irritate and stimulate, and thus prompted people to take a new look at familiar sights.
Based on an idea by culture initiator Emil Breisach and planned by the Styrian team, architect Klaus Kada and designer Alexander Kada, the project called for a mirrored square in the middle of downtown Graz. Mirror elements with a height of approx. 5 metres were positioned on the Freiheitsplatz, a central square of the old city, and offered passers-by a multitude of optical effects. Due to their positions next to each other, the mirrors endlessly multiplied reflections, thereby producing an effect that was all the more impressive as the mirror elements towered above eye level.
Nonetheless, remnants of the surrounding architecture and people using the square still remained in the field of vision, thus uniting the "real" world and its reflection in a new spatial experience. Within the framework of this constant interplay of second and third dimensions, this endless dialogue between material and immaterial worlds, finiteness and infinity, viewers could even experience the immeasurable expanse of the ocean. A large LED-wall integrated in one of the mirror surfaces served as a projection screen, and a live broadcast showed pictures of the sea, complete with the sound of waves. Graz lies on the Mur, but for a few months in summer of 2003 the ocean was here, too!
Idea and concept: Klaus und Alexander Kada, Emil Breisach.
Realisation: Workgroup KADA.
A project by Graz 2003 - Cultural Capital of Europe.