Oben de Diane Vincent


OBEN from Jim Casper on Vimeo.

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For several years Diane Vincent climbed numerous rooftops to make pictures, over and over again. For a long time she didn’t know exactly why; I simply felt attached to these strange, unknown and obscure places.

I explore my city from a different angle and I photograph architectural situations up there being fascinated by the vastness and expanse as well as its limitation by moments of blocked sights. Eventually I compile a personal map which mirrors an imaginary walk in another dimension of the city.

Diane Vincent


It’s thirty-six degrees.
A dry desert sun burns the roof.
From up here the vast empty ground seems endless.
The heat and the wind touch my skin.
I open a door, the background noise of the city fades away.
With my eyes closed I see an ocean of weightless light rays –
dancing, floating …
I trust my body. I’m here.


And that is what Oben replicates, that world of the rooftops, the Berlin rooftops (which automatically brings to mind Wings of Desire and a few other things – there’s may be a nod to that in the book). Instead it’s a muted tour of the shapes and textures of the Berlin skyline; the anonymity of the immediate architecture mixed with the occasional landmark, the blankness of the leaded rooftops, the crunch of the tarred apartment tops, the rise of construction cranes, the curve of the satellite dishes and the oddness of the chimney stacks. It’s New Topographic but without their brutal rigoour. The camera looks across, it looks down and it looks up. It’s very grey and very quiet. The only sound up there is the wind, but we don’t see that.

Colin Pantal

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Weight 0.440 kg


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