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Opening: Tuesday, 6 May 2003, 7 pm
Introductory words: Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen, Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Exhibition: 7 May - 18 May 2003
Opening hours: daily from 11 am to 6 pm
Free admission
Exhibition spaces of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz 3, A-1010 Vienna

The Three Gorges Dam project is probably China's most ambitious construction project since the Great Wall. The Yangtze River is to be dammed up near Yichang for about 600 kilometers back to Chongqing, and the resultant power station will supply electricity for Szechuan, China's province with the largest number of inhabitants, and the metropolises on the Yangtze River to Shanghai. About two million people have to give way to the waters, 17 cities will be flooded.

The construction project not only includes the gigantic dam itself, but encompasses a whole region where cities, towns, roads, and bridges with the entire necessary modern infrastructure (airports, hospitals, schools, etc.) will have to be built. The People's Republic of China aims at creating an economically powerful region with free trade areas as a national prestige project.

© Markus Krottendorfer   © Markus Krottendorfer  

For his photo series, which focuses on the new settlements planned at the drawing-board and the cities and quarters to be pulled down rather than on the major building site of the dam, Markus Krottendorfer traveled the Yangtze River downstream from Chongqing to Shanghai. His approximately 50 large-format photographs - both black and white and color - reveal the ambivalence of the Three Gorges Dam both in terms of planning and its socio-political implications.

Krottendorfer's works center around the documentation of the gigantic dimensions of the dam project. They deal with issues concerning the symbolic character of architecture within a context of national representation and an intended rapid economic progress and explore the clash of a mixture of Western styles and a Chinese tradition given up to be destroyed in favor of a "socialist market economy."

Markus Krottendorfer
Born in Vienna in 1976 | 1997-1998 School for Artistic Photography Vienna | Studies with Prof. Eva Schlegel at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna since 1998 | Lives and works in Vienna.

© Felix Friedmann|Markus Krottendorfer   Markus Krottendorfer
© Felix Friedmann

Selected solo and group exhibitions
1998 subatomar, WUK project space, Vienna | 1999 Charim-Klocker Gallery, Vienna | 2000 99/00, annual exhibition of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (curated by Kasper König, Martin Fritz) | Museum of Modern Art Castello di Rivoli, Turin | 2001 dichroscopic gloss, presentation of the photographer's class, Studio Building of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (Atelierhaus) | Zovno Gallery, Belgrade | 2002 Veriste Gallery, Belgrade | endlich 26, Westlicht Gallery, Vienna | facing 1, Stadtgalerie Wels (curator: Karin Handlbauer) | 2003 Galerie 422, Gmunden, Austria

Program in the exhibition spaces

Panel discussion
Tuesday, 13 May 2003, 7 pm
The Three Gorges Dam - Drawbacks of a Historical Project
With Christian Seethaler (architect, Mascha & Seethaler), Richard Trappl (senior lecturer at the Department of Chinese Studies, University of Vienna), Helmut Markus Knoflacher (ecologist, Austrian Research Centers)
Presented by Helmut Opletal (ORF)

© Markus Krottendorfer   © Markus Krottendorfer  

Translation: Wolfgang Astelbauer