Conceived in 2010 by the artist, the photographic montage fills the windowless facade of a building adjacent to the bank’s plot of land at 66 Route des Acacias. The print on a tarpaulin of twenty by thirteen metres covers the surface of the building’s cross section where advertising posters were previously placed. Visible to passers-by at a major traffic thoroughfare, the observer can recognise the large, rectangular and horizontal plate glass windows created by architect Andrea Bassi for the Banque Pictet’s building, as well as the classical facade of the building on which the tarpaulin has been stretched. Trapped between local architectural elements, other constructions, originating in Tokyo’s financial neighbourhood, Nishi-Shinjuku, intrude so as to create a vision of a much more dense and contemporary city, the very picture of the constantly evolving urban zone of the Acacias.
This monumental photographic project was hence made concrete by the assemblage of three black and white photographs taken and composed by the artist. In this mixture of reality and fiction, between architectural volume and the image’s smooth plane, Renate Buser deploys her talent of a refined observer, offering a trompe-l’oeil which pierces the wall and opens up the gaze onto a new and yet familiar city, appealing and mysterious. The photographic installation thus perturbs the vision of passers-by as well as leading them into an illusion of a near future. Acacias 66 acts like a mirror, coming to reflect its environment while playing with the urban landscape.
Through this field of experimentation, Renate Buser questions the place of architecture in public space and creates a genuine urban utopia, between Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927) and Futuropolis, connecting the city of tomorrow with that of yesterday, the city of everyday life to that of an elsewhere. Her black and white images evoke the recollection and the history of a place, evidence of an architecture of the past and a projective memory of a place which transforms itself.