The idea of shopping centers in the United States, designed by the architect Victor Gruen, was to establish a “third place” in isolated American suburbs – a place dedicated not only to business, but also to social life. This is basically the idea of a prosperous European city center.
While in the US malls close and fall into ruin one after the other, superlative malls are built in other countries. In times of post industrialism, the shopping mall thus became the engine of a new consumer economy: It integrates life into the act of shopping and not conversely.
As part of this residency in Le Cube– independent art room, Maria Hanl ranges these temples of consumption, entertainment and leisure in search of architectural and decorative elements, which subtly underline the idyllic and exotic side of these buildings: artificial rocks, imaginary animals, fountains, rivers, or aquariums. The artist captures these elements on photography and assembles the images to a paradisiac world of appearance, of a projection and a reflection in which we inevitably become participants.
The projects developed by Maria Hanl will be presented during a solo exhibition at Le Cube – independent art room.
Maria Hanl lives and works in Vienna. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Vienna and the Slade School of Fine Art of London.