The Fall of the Image: The Iconology of Negative Verticality

The Fall of the Image: The Iconology of Negative Verticality

When we talk about statues and buildings, we say that they are erected. Images and artifacts function as positive placements, as if their purpose was to reflect the basic constitution of man, as homo erectus, and serve as a kind of counterpart to it. At the same time, this positive classification of spatial-vertical directionality remains indispensably inscribed in its counterpart: the possibility of toppling, of losing stability—of falling.   

According to the initial thesis, when the foundation of images open up as backgrounds, it is also always an exploration of the conditions of the pictorial medium itself: When the base of a statue suddenly explodes in an act of iconoclasm; when a violent act culminates in the throwing of one’s opponent out of a window; when a fallen soldier rises again in, of all forms, a standing statue; or where the natural wonder of a waterfall becomes a metaphor for social fatality. The “iconology of negative verticality” deals with marginal forms of images in an attempt to redefine visual media based on their true impulse to fall.



Dr. Godehard Janzing

Former Deputy Director of the DFK Paris (2012-2017)