Urban Diptych

by mr

bifold reading of the generic city through photographic mosaics


Photographic diptych by Panagiotis Kotsidas and Miro Roman is a part of three week exhibition-event in Singapore organized by The Mill x WeJungle and thematized with concepts of Destruction and Rebirth.

written by Petra Tomljanovic

“Why come to Trade I asked myself. And I already wanted to leave. ‘You can resume your flight whenever you like,’ they said to me, ‘but you will arrive at another Trade, absolutely the same, detail by detail. The world is covered by a sole Trade which does not begin and does not end. Only the name of the airport changes.” Calvino, 1972


Cosmic concepts of “Destruction and Rebirth”, if translated to a contemporary moment, can be reinterpreted as concepts of “Recycling and Sustainability”. These concepts help us not to overload our world with objects. They are indicators of the generic condition, which is most explicit in today’s growing cities.

It is a bifold situation: sameness that flattens the diversity of our cities also created a globalized world of 7 billion people. Generic condition has developed infrastructures, logistics, optimizations, arrays of windows, cars, houses, global warming, ebola, terrorism, exotic food, tourist monuments, shopping malls…

The result is a generic world, any city, any place; Singapore, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Phuket, Bangkok, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Malacca, Saigon, Kuala Lumpur, Manado, Manila, Tokyo… This sense of limbo, suggests a homogeneity of cities; cities reduced to mere templates. The indicated, indeterminate state, is being re-examined through the photographic works of Panagiotis Kotsidias and Miro Roman.


In the same bifold way without a definite message or a clear goal – as a platform for discussion – Panagiotis and Miro are approaching the generic city as photographers, artists, engineers, architects, thinkers… How can one articulate the generic condition as a valuable platform?

Through a diptych of photographic mosaics, captioned by notions of urban scenery, Panagiotis and Miro are shaping a “constellation” that simultaneously shows the genericness of everyday city and captures daily richness and banality through an implicit narrative. Analog and Digital, Personal and Public, Photos and Images, Generic and Specific, Series and Array, a Grid and a Line, Asia and Singapore, Instagram and Artistic… Every pixel becomes a picture.


What is identity within this generic space? Is there identity within the generic?

Both photographers are approaching the subject of identity clash in an Asian context, from different standpoints and by posing different questions. For Panagiotis, there is a sense of a subtle beauty that exists within the seemingly mundane or desolate non-places, alongside their alienating quality. It’s the specific moment that catches his attention. Miro, however, collects an ‘infinite’ amount of images of streets, slums, squares, monuments, non-places that may signify a loss of identity, or touristic overused spaces with strong identity. He creates a collage that results in a galaxy of indexes. While Panagiotis creates its own, selected experience of a city, Miro provides indexes to the viewer.

Confronted and in constant dialogue, as a double articulation, these approaches can offer a way to see a generic city not as being good or bad, dystopian or utopian, but as a platform for continuous discussion of what a city might be, beyond sustainability and recycling and after the destruction and rebirth.

mosaic by miro

mosaic by miro / click to zoom


foto by panos

foto by panos / click to zoom


foto by panos

foto by panos / click to zoom


destruction and rebirth

destruction and rebirth