In the Middle of the Speed
1994 - 1996
In the Middle of the Speed #13, Calais 1994
The construction of the tunnel under the channel is the
symbol of European construction and its territorial development.
This development favours communications networks and high-speed
exchanges. Those in power decided on just-in-time distribution
for the communications logistics. Speed and just-in-time,
to the point of saturation, have become the very attributes
of the powers-that-be.
In the Middle of the Speed #3, 1996
The abolition of the natural obstacle has inevitably brought
about a banalization of the voyage itself, a cosmopolitan
standardisation of the places of transit and even of the destinations,
articulated in a language consisting of pictograms and elementary
English. Like the "Transsiberian", the "Simplon
Orient Express", or the "Etoile du Nord", will
Eurostar engender its own prose?
Wolfgang Zurborn was intrigued by this "compression"
of significations of the contemporary world at two moments
which are themselves significative. On the one hand, the inauguration,
which is conceived as a concerted and decisive moment. With
the projection of the images and, if possible, other poetics
for a shuttle, fundamentally, is nothing more than
an international subway and on the other hand, the
city of Europe which sees itself in permanence as a panorama
of the continent, and which has thus taken on the form of
In the Middle of the Speed #22, Calais 1995
Could a better symbol have been imagined?
Strange reversal. Turner, in 1844, who for the first time,
in his painting "Rain, steam and speed" addressed
himself to the train, had a presentiment of the change in
perception of the world due to speed. A world of fugitive
impressions that would be a revelation for Monet and Pissaro.
On the contrary, Wolfgang Zurborn, working around the central
theme of the High Speed Train, spots the flow, justintime
and, in the end, stripped of meaning, of the moving images
in which we live. This ironic halt is eminently political.
It is no longer the consumer, nor the amateur of art, who
is concerned, but the citizen. He will need silence and time to think.
Pierre Devin, Translated by Nina Bogin
This text can be downloaded as PDF.
In the Middle of the Speed #8, 1996