Klaus Pichler's latest series, titled 'Middle Class Utopia,' features Vienna's "Schrebergarten," an allotment of gardens frequented by older people looking for a form of escapism.
While my idea of "escapism" involves vegging out in front of the TV watching re-runs of Orange is the New Black, the Schrebergarten is a little more structured. In fact, there are strict rules about conduct and behavior, as well the aesthetic properties, resulting in a slightly off-putting, though still technically attractive, artificial atmosphere.
Throughout Pichler's series, there exists a palpable tension coming from the visitor's simultaneous desire to escape into and control nature, forcing it to conform to their idea of "ideal." PIchler's photographs juxtapose pot-bellied old men and bow-legged women with manicured hedges and lawns.
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