There is more to numbers than sums; they can also conceal histories, too. In this case, world-famous architectural history. For five years the renowned Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery), designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was closed to the public for renovation. Nevertheless, the photographer Michael Wesely was able to accommodate “four guests” inside the iconic building: Four cameras, each one pointing in a different direction, were installed on the ceiling. Every day they took between 600 and 1100 pictures with an exposure time of two minutes each.
Edited into bewitching montages, this fascinating synopsis allows readers to envision the building’s metamorphosis as it was undergoing renovations. The long exposure time is an aesthetic coup, for ephemeral, restless, rapid movements contrast with the still, timeless quality of the architecture, presenting a sophisticated interplay of identity and change.