Based on archival material, photographs, videos, texts and interviews, Sean Snyder (*1972) explores specific typologies and examples of modernist architecture and urban development that are the offspring of different economic, geographic and political circumstances. Deriving from the narratives inherent to urban space, Snyder examines how visual codes attain significance worldwide. Through an associative process, Snyder analyses how images of architecture are displaced through various parts of the world, thereby exposing how the processes of mediated and interpretive transference can lead to unusual shifts in architectural forms from one continent to the next.

For the exhibition in Portikus, Snyder unearths little known aspects of information in order to observe them from new perspectives. The publication, "Skopje Resurgent", published in 1970 by the United Nations, documenting the reconstruction effort of Skopje after an earthquake in 1963, serves as a framework for the project. Incorporating new methods of interdisciplinary urban development and sociological experiments, a group of experts from various fields, nationalities and ideologies collaborated on a "master plan" for the reconstruction. The UN selected the proposal of the Japanese architect and urban planner Kenzo Tange's as the most viable, adapted from his 1960 Plan for Tokyo.

Snyder assembles numerous aspects from various contexts - visual and textual information; interviews with individuals in Macedonia and Japan involved or knowledgeable with the re-building project; architectural sketches; aerial imagery, on-site photographs, re-photographed images of the scale-model taken out of storage from the City Museum of Skopje, and other documents - together outline an in-depth installation that forms a matrix of various and not necessarily congruous reference points without any claim to being an authoritative research. As an integral component of his work, these inconsistencies produce distinct threads of information that dispose complex circumstances for further analysis. Snyder does not present his work as a comprehensive and conclusive investigation, but instead presents the option for speculative inquiry.

The exhibition was realised in cooperation with De Appel in Amsterdam, Neue Kunst Halle in St. Gallen and the Secession in Vienna.

The catalogue and exhibition at Portikus is funded by the "Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung".