Working with the subject “voids” — with their indeterminacy, their potential to be either disruption or creative space — has been a key aspect of Peggy Buth’s artistic work for some years. Voids can be signs of change. They are breaks in time. They also reflect political, economic, social and cultural processes.
Peggy Buth’s flexible-media group of works 'The Politics of Selection – Vom Nutzen der Angst' focuses on voids in the urban space, which she defines as “historical-virtual”: “Those which exist as cultural memory, but which are no longer discernible as such, because they have been destroyed, built over, replaced, gentrified.” The current condition of these (urban) situa- tions, as documented and interpreted by Peggy Buth, is a reflection of the relationship between capitalistic urban space pro- duction and space acquisition and between symbolic capital and its associated differentiation processes, in all their complex links and mutual conditionalities. Questions arise both about the motivations and legitimations of the driving forces in such processes, and about the results of such actions in situations with similar conditions and cycles of development.
In 'The Politics of Selection – Vom Nutzen der Angst', Peggy Buth makes use of a direct, undistorted but still subjective image language. Her series The MLK Blvd. (Martin Luther King Boulevard) and then/now (Pruitt-Igoe), with their interlaced film-like sequences and commentaries, create a “visibility” which frees the geographically and temporally specific situation, and its associated connotations, from its historical attributes. The documentary quality is coupled to a declaration, a stance and finally an insight: the “reality” of our present can still be captured with images. Above the visual maelstrom a connectionis made between the “history” of the failed utopias and social experiments of the last century and the current discussions around commodification of living conditions, around marginalization, around revaluation and suppression in the context of turbo-gentrification in the capitols of the world, and around the advancing division of globalized societies.The “knowable” in these relationships is revealed in Peggy Buth’s current works. They are not accompaniment in any sense but instead force a reckoning with the realities.