COMMON PLACES

(2000)

Gelatin Silver prints of varying sizes. Edition of 5.


"Common Places" is about how cultural identity is manifested in ordinary urban spaces. Selecting four typical contemporary European cities that range in size from small town to small city, Mikael Levin photographed the way traces of each city's distinctive history mix with the everyday, reflecting not only current cultural and economic cross-influences but also an ambiguity about the past and the future. The cities are: Katrineholm (Sweden), Thessaloniki (Greece), Erfurt (Germany), and Cambrai (France).

Two bodies of work essentially play off each other. One set of photographs, presented as eight large-format prints from each city, looks at the commonalities between the four cities. The second body of work, presented in four albums of various dimensions, features photographs of one particular, distinctive aspect of each city.

Extending the process whereby he examined how these places see and show themselves, Levin exhibited "Common Places" in the four concerned cities, each time soliciting response texts written from the perspective of that city. The presentation of "Common Places" in New York, accompanied by the publication of the response texts, marked the completion of the project.

Catalog

A first newsprint catalog was available for the exhibition of Common Places in the four concerned cities. It included reproductions of the main body of 32 photographs and a text:

The Untidy Intimacy of Places, by Christopher Phillips.

Accompanying the exhibition of Common Places at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, a second newsprint publication presented response texts written from the perspective of each of the four cities:

Jean-François Chevrier- Paris, Saturday, April 1...
Catharina Gabrielsson- Out of Nowhere
Alexandra Yerolympos- A City is its People
Kai Uwe Schierz- Discovering the Past
Gertrud Sandqvist- Katrineholm as Utopia
Hercules Papaioannou- Affinity and Apartness
Jacques Soulillou- On Traffic Flows and History (1)
Alain Demarquette- On Traffic Flows and History (2)
Ingo Schulze- New Money (from Simple Places)
Carole Parmat- About Mikael Levin's Photographs of Cambrai
Beatrice Duprez- Email

Installation View, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris 2003

Installation View, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris 2003

Installation View, Katrineholm Konsthall, 1999

Installation View, Storefont for Art and Architecture, New York, 2000

Installation View, Storefont for Art and Architecture, New York, 2000