The splitting issue
by Oliver Elser (Frankfurt) & Hagen Stier (Hamburg)

Photos: Hagen Stier


This year the Vienna Ringstrasse is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its existence. For this occasion the BAWAG P.S.K. is publishing a special edition of the Parabol Art Magazine. Parabol is duly inviting the architecture curator Oliver Elser to analyse via this medium one of the most striking and prominent buildings in the Ringstrasse ensemble, Otto Wagner’s Postsparkasse. Together with the architecture photographer Hagen Stier, Elser pays tribute to this paragon of Viennese Modernism: Parabol Special Edition “The Splitting Issue” is hot off the press.

Otto Wagner is noted as one of the leading pioneers of early Modernism. The unusual format of the Parabol Art Magazine, which opens up to measure almost DIN A1 size, ideally suits Wagner’s love of state-of-the-art materials and his quest for a synthesis of functionality and aesthetics. Hagen Stier documents the Austrian Postsparkasse in a very analytical and meanwhile individual way, thus opening up a unique and unprecedented view into the building.

Parabol Special Edition “The Splitting Issue” is being presented as part of a special exhibition in the Otto Wagner Postsparkasse, open to the public from 10 May to 12 June, admission free.

“In Spatial Splittings: Hagen Stier has developed a method to disassemble a symmetrical building firstly into parts and afterwards to re-assemble them so that it results in a new configuration. By combining shot and reserve shot and juxtaposing situations that are actually far removed but reflect one another, he recomposes the world-famous – and thousand-fold photographed – Postsparkasse by Otto Wagner. The photographs expose the building’s structure like a surgeon uncovering bones with his scalpel. Photographs are constructions of reality. In Hagen Stier’s splittings, the image construction of the follows the building construction so closely that spatial images are generated that are as rational as they are surreal.”

Oliver Elser, Curator


On behalf of: Rudolf Leeb / Sponsoring, BAWAG P.S.K.
Curator: Oliver Elser / Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt am Main
Artist: Hagen Stier, Hamburg
Publisher: section.a und section.d
Art Director: Chris Goennawein
Editor: Katharina Boesch / section.a
Translation: Richard Watts
Production: 08/16 Printproduktion
Fundraising: Christina Hardegg / Hardegg Fundraising
Press: Ana Berlin Communications
ISBN 978—3—9503888—9—3
Print run: 1.500