© Mario Pfeifer, [blackboardfilms], the authors, Sternberg Press

 
 

Reconsidering The new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California by Lewis Baltz, 1974 
by Mario Pfeifer, 2009

Published by Sternberg Press
Softcover 12 x 15 cm, 96 pages, 30 b/w ill.
January 2011, English

         
 
 

© Mario Pfeifer, [blackboardfilms], the authors, Sternberg Press

 

Excerpt from Moritz, Julia. "Introduction II." Introduction. Reconsidering The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California by Lewis Baltz, 1974. New York Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2011. Print.

In 2009, Mario Pfeifer's Reconsidering The new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California by Lewis Baltz, 1974 took stock of the photographic series of the American artist. This series is a meditation on the specific architecture of Irvine's industrial parks, first published by Baltz as a glossy photographic book in 1975 - an artistic format which consciously dispensed with textual framing of its images and other specifics about the depicted locations. What initially might have motivated Baltz to compile his photographic series, and which principles and considerations may have underpinned his formal decision making, can be found in Günther Metkin's art historical treatise entitled "Spurensuche", first published in 1977 - Baltz himself gave very few interviews about his work. But what is Baltz's own account on his early work today? What does his oeuvre mean to artists from more recent generations? Which general conclusions can be drawn about interplay of space, images, and text in contemporary visual art?

 

© Mario Pfeifer, [blackboardfilms], the authors, Sternberg Press

 
 
© Mario Pfeifer, [blackboardfilms], the authors, Sternberg Press
 
 

Excerpt from Hochleitner, Martin. "Introduction I." Introduction. Reconsidering The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California by Lewis Baltz, 1974. New York Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2011. Print.

In 2009, the Germany-based artist Mario Pfeifer realized the project Reconsideration The new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California by Lewis Baltz, 1974. In order to do this, he returned to the site where this photographic series was first made some thirty-five years after Baltz's original visit, duly filming the facade and interior life of one of the factory buildings there, which originally had been exclusively photographed from the outside. In a second film, he is depicted in the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles leafing through Baltz's book of photographs from 1974. Both sets of images are woven together in a dual projection, which is accompanied by a commentary by the current owner of the workshop on the history of the area.
In 2009, Mario Pfeifer combined Baltz's and Metken's individual approaches. One the one hand, Pfeifer's work comes across as a personal search for clues, which - very much consistent with the interview with Lewis Baltz that follows in this book-traces the conceptual considerations and original context of the series' genesis at the time. In this way, Reconsidering the new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California by Lewis Baltz, 1974 articulates a concrete record of the effect that Baltz's photographs had on Pfeifer, whose working methodology is at home in the fields of research, documentation and oral history. On the other hand, Pfeifer's work couples history with those images that Baltz published in the 1970s without a foreword - that is to say, devoid of any introductory text. If the images silently represent the story of radical change within this landscape at the time, Pfeifer's project functions today as a manifestation of a much more complex history of photographic images: on the one hand by means of the filmic recourse to the publication foam 1974, by physically shooting the film at the very site where the photographs were first made, as well as through the conversation with the current factory owner; and on the other by means of the selection of the series The new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California itself, the fifty-one photographs which today strand for a scarcely estimable history o their reception and representation and their overall classification within art history. Out of this, much has coalesced to form conceptual considerations, which Pfeifer fro his part revisited upon Lewis Baltz in the form of questions, and which appear in this book in the form of an interview with the artist.

 
 

© Mario Pfeifer, [blackboardfilms], the authors, Sternberg Press

 
 

Reconsidering The new Industrial Parks near Irvine, California by Lewis Baltz, 1974 - by Mario Pfeifer 2009 is a remarkable book rich of written contents about contemporary art and photography. It contains: two perfect and exhaustive introductions by Martin Hochleitner and Julia Moritz; an original text by Lewis Baltz, first published in Image, vol. 17, no. 2 in June 1974; the essay "New Worlds: Lewis Baltz and a Geography of Aesthetic Decisions" by Chris Balaschak; an interview between Lewis Baltz and Mario Pfeifer ("An Email Conversation"); and a more specific text about Mario Pfeifer's work "Between Representation and Reality: Reflections on a Film Installation by Mario Pfeifer" by Vanessa Joan Müller.

The book is published by Sternberg Press, a small New York-Berlin based publishing house originally founded in 1999 by Caroline Schneider.

 

 

Daniel Augschoell, Anya Jasbar