Merch Mulch | Claire Hentschker
Merch Mulch (2017) records an exploration inside an abandoned, semi-destroyed shopping center, in an atmosphere that closely resembles the settings of war videogames. A characteristic of the aesthetics of the video game is also the frontal view with which the space is shown, the post-apocalyptic atmosphere created by neon lights, an alienating musical background, the absence of other characters or human figures.
This 360 ° navigation of a three-dimensional space is created by the artist Claire Hentschker using photogrammetry, a 3D modeling technique that uses images of real objects and spaces – in this case YouTube videos of several abandoned or demolished city malls – to create realistic representations of reality: Hentschker’s shopping center does not exist but arises from the fragmented and distorted superimposition of pre-existing images. This is also made evident by the loss of sharpness of some glimpses of the place, by the missing – or not completely reworked – areas or by the glitch effect of some areas of the department store: the higher the number of images or source data accumulated in departure, the more precise and defined the final product will be.
In Merch Mulch Hentschker questions the concepts of realism and objectivity in photography by presenting a complex and articulated structure of meticulously unraveled and recomposed data, in an assembly that is not only made up of images but also of experiences and experiences that belong to those places, and where human intervention is limited to the collection and manipulation of data.
Claire Hentschker, Merch Mulch, 2017
Music by R. Luke Dubois