Acquired in 2022, Daniela Comani's Planet Earth: 21st Century consists of an archive of postcards. They show famous monuments and impressive buildings that Comani did not collect during tourist trips, but created herself on the computer. The artist moves through the map services Apple Maps Flyover and Google Earth, which represent the world in 3D renderings. By choosing specific perspectives and cropping, Comani's screenshots appear like classic postcards depicting the world in 360 locations. The subjects include familiar but equally fascinating cities, buildings, and structures. Before its acquisition by Apple, the map service was developed by defense contractor Saab and is a testament to the geopolitical value of surveying and mapping the world. For Comani, her inventory is also a contemporary historical document of the early 21st century. Incessantly, man shapes and reshapes the earth, cities grow and decay, monuments are toppled or outlast generations.
The exhibition is contrasted with works from the Photographic Collection. Corresponding from the 19th century are the city views of Edouard Baldus, which similarly record the city as a stage. A directly human experience is reflected in the conceptual and sociological works from the 20th and 21st centuries by Ella Bergmann-Michel, Mario de Biasi, Wendelin Bottländer, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Jürgen Heinemann, Arne Schmitt and Andrzej Steinbach, and Randa Shaath.