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Solo Exhibition

»The Urban Text«

Jon Setter

Update March 2020
The gallery is closed due to Covid-19 until further notice..

Galerie Minimal is proud to present a photography exhibition by Jon Setter in Berlin in March 2020. In this exhibition minimalist photographer Jon Setter from Sydney/Australia shows works from his new series “The Urban Text”.

Taking French sociologist Michel de Certeau’s notion of the urban text as a starting point, Jon Setter uses his photography to reveal the often overlooked aspects of urban spaces; ambiguous fragments hidden in plain sight among the dense narratives of the built environment. Acting as a modern day flaneur he seeks out what we take for granted, uncovering hidden truths and detailing the unexplored. Preferring formal concerns over identity politics, he examines a space’s essential grammar through its colours, patterns, textures and materials; elements which form the basis of any city’s character and speak to the uniqueness of its culture and history. Through precise and methodical composing, these aspects are reduced to almost unrecognisable detail. Thus, defamiliarising the everydayness of urban architecture and offering us a closer reading of the micro-level intimacy of the street beyond the artificial busyness of urban life.

By abstracting the urban text, Setter attempts to create a kind of universality of vision, a simplified network of ‘writings’ that encourage us to slow down and start observing the uniqueness of everything in the urban landscape. So, no matter where we are in the world, we can all begin to observe and experience the spaces in which we live more completely.

This project’s title comes from de Certeau’s concept of the urban text formed in his book The Practice of Everyday Life. He describes the urban text as what is ‘written’ across a space, which people move in and make use of but remain blind to. De Certeau writes:

The paths that correspond in this dense intertwining elude legibility, as though the practices organising a bustling city, were characterised by their blindness.”

Jon Setter was born in Detroit, Michigan (1989) and is based in Sydney, Australia. Setter’s work is produced as part of an ongoing exploration that attempts to reveal the unseen aspects that shape how we experience urban spaces and architecture. Often working with subjects discovered by chance on unprescribed walks, he documents from peculiar viewpoints the details people walk past and use daily but may not consciously observe. He methodically organises the repeated colours, patterns, materials and textures of the urban vernacular to develop an abstracted expression of space. His hope is that by cutting through the chaos of our urban surroundings and instead presenting them as simple and clean compositions can help expand our reading and understanding of the spaces we interact with most.

Framework program

Saturday, March 7, 2020, 5 – 10 pm
Opening Reception, in presence of the artist.
With an Artist Talk (held in English) from 5 – 6 pm.

Sunday, March 8, 2020, 3 – 6 pm
Photo Walk with Jon Setter.
Join the photographer from Detroit (USA) on an expedition through Kreuzberg, swap ideas and learn from one of the most interesting photo artists in Minimal Photography. Ticket: 30 €. This photo walk will be held in English.

Saturday, March 28, 2020, 6 – 10 pm

Galerie Minimal Berlin

Mar 8 – 28, 2020
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 7, 5 – 10 pm
Framework program: please see above


Mittenwalder Str. 57 · 10961 Berlin
[District: Kreuzberg | Borough: Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg]

Opening hours: by appointment only and for events

Admission free

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