BERLIN.- The role of so-called globalisation has achieved widespread dominance especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellite states. Although the ominous meaning of the rather overused general term still remains vague, its effects are usually quite tangible, as the worlds greatest economic and financial crisis since the Second World War currently demonstrates.
The notion of globalisation is most commonly used in an economic context and best observed in the formation of ever expanding and evolving multinational corporations. In contrast to traditional, local family-run business dynasties, these corporations very often appear to be faceless as managers and boards of directors are frequently replaced. Due to their technocratic hive-off policies, modern corporations and companies resemble Hydra-like entities and are very seldom personified by actual people. Physically, these corporations, companies and retail chains tend to primarily become visible and manifest themselves in their architecture. Similar to ecclesiastical structures, their buildings symbolise power through awe-inspiring volume, height, scale and materials. While large buildings such as city gates and church spires traditionally marked the boundary between secular and ecclesiastical power and jurisdiction, today it is the representational buildings and logos of corporations and brands that constitute the global epitome of economic power, advancement and cosmopolitanism by symbolising their invulnerability through the supremacy of imposing size or omnipresence. As globalisation is bringing the world closer together, societies become increasingly secularised. Religions formerly considered mutually exclusive are reconceptualised in the light of religions of other cultures and neutralised or deprived of their mystique by an unquestioning faith in science. The religious impulse is displaced and redirected to particular brands, trends and lifestyles that seem to give an identity.
Jörg Stecks installation includes c-prints and light boxes depicting existing scenes and façades of representational buildings perfectly enhanced by their orchestrated light. The transparency they convey is only superficial and seeming, and prevents a closer look inside. The work explores the discernable associative proximity of sacral symbolism to alleged holiness as well as profane concretisation, where objects are subject to purely aesthetic considerations and ultimately remain surfaces. The apotheosis of economic systems and their market mechanisms is manifesting itself in particular in the face of the current crisis, with buzz-words such as Sündenfall (Fall of Man) or Heilsversprechen (promise of salvation). The bewilderment experienced is reflected in the degree to which a return to ethics has been called for in recent months.