_a topology of gestures

On Twelve (2000/1) by Candida Höfer

in Christine Takegny and Hyunjoo Byron (Eds.), Flexible Aura. Exhibition Catalogue, Brain Factory Seoul, South Korea, 15.10.2009 – 01.11.2009

The profundity and silence that rest in Candida Höfer’s series of photographs Twelve (2000-2001) seem to be the only resonance of an auratic notion of a landmark that was casted to manifest sacrifice as a form of resistance. In 1884 the city of Calais had commissioned Auguste Rodin to create a work that commemorates the six members of the city’s bourgeoisie, who saved the city’s life in 1347 by handing themselves over to the English troops. As much as Rodin emphasised on the representation of the historical figures in The Burghers of Calais, he stressed the presentation format of the sculpture on ground-level, enabling a direct and equal communica- tion between the viewer and the work. The various museums and private collectors that bought or were given one of the 12 existing copies have often undermined this gesture, which disallows the creation of an aura of devotion and reverence. …

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