Franz Ackermann's small-scale mixed-media sketches, which he calls 'mental maps', develop from his wanderings at street level. (Artist's Commentary on Featured Works)
In response to a world that is, for some, more intricately connected than ever, reticular metaphors prevail in contemporary art. Yet the complexities of this world - its financial markets, information and transportation networks, social relations, and so on - exceed figuration and its shifting spaces are opaque to conventional means of representation. In such a situation it is claimed that mapping is no longer a matter of describing the surface of the globe but of reconstructing a scene that has been lived through. This means that cartography comes back down to earth, so to speak. That sovereign power which once surveyed the world from on high, dividing out space, giving measure to it, and more often than not asserting proprietorial and territorial rights over it, is unsustainable: its panoptic eye sees from nowhere, which is, of course, impossible, and the knowledge which it claims of the world is detached, reductive, a fiction.
Franz Ackermann: Untitled (mental map: for security reasons, no water allowed), (Faceland III), 2003, mixed media on paper, 13 x 19 cm: courtesy IMMAfrom remote viewing exhibition Franz Ackermann recording about his mental maps works.
Franz Ackermann untitled (mental map: values of the west), (Faceland III), 2003, mixed media on paper, 28 x 29.6 cm
..."The cartographer who comes back to street level, where the air is, for the most part, breathable, immerses him- or herself in specific situations, the topography and horizons of which are set by social conditions to which we are all subjected, not least those of memory and architecture. It is these conditioned and situated experiences that might now provide material for maps. "
"individuals in a world where traditional geographic hierarchies and borders are in rapid transformation are forced to navigate according to their own experiences" an essey by anna oliver an artist, about maps in the past, present and future, an mainly about representation of maps by artists.