Splace   Austria / Japan   1996

Karl-Heinz KLOPF  

"...I have never found nature to be necessary...", "If you are very rich or very poor, you cook at home." "Five and a half months ago was the last time that I was outside of the city." Excerpts out of chosen interviews with city planners and architects in Tokyo - endless urban space, represented in an exemplary architectural story of the megalopolis.

Pictures of an Asian urban jungle with interactive city maps and automatic stopovers of leaving and arriving - and the appropriate words of the ability "to dream yourself away". Splace takes a possible route through the city and insures at the same time, that there is infinitely more. Karl-Heinz Klopf is interested above all in the transitions and brink of the built, virtual and individual spaces: a space can be private, an overview for other spaces or home; depending on which use is attributed, how it is used and if identification takes place. In the video "Splace" the viewers are placed between built architecture, (for example the Shibuya/ Tower house built by architect Takamitsu Azuma in 1966) and relevant in/ out check points such as subways, revolving doors, reception halls in Tokyo. Splace theme paths, voyages and the time spent on these voyages, which are necessary because of the structures; "...one is partially frustrated because of travelling so much, to cover basic necessities, because the city is so functional."

Other interviewees experience the city multiply as a weighing of the financial affordability of a central location, against time which is spent travelling from a further distance, for example for two times two hours drive "a house surrounded by green is possible." (Suess)

The traditional Japanese lifestyle, that made it possible to live in the old Edo, has disappeared because of European influences on lifestyles, which influence the buildings as well. Individual space and a disintegrating privacy lead through the structures of growth to a nasty undefined space that, because of social and political aspects, do not develop any personal identification.

"I do not have anything here. I do not have any place that I can call home. The place that I grew up has been completely destroyed. All that remains is a flat property. The whole surrounding has been destroyed by the company." "Us architects have to produce the quality of the space."

Two monitors where placed in the windows of in the exhibition of the same name "Splace", in the Gallery Stadtpark (Krems 1996), so that one could watch the video both inside and outside. Using a "soft wall" made of a white awing running parallel to the glass of the window, the framed view from the inside out, or from outside into the room could be changed. "The concept for the video developed through the idea to contrast and weave individual experiences in space together with the presence of the built environment. A weaving of different, conditional substances, which are confronted in their interaction, collision and overlapping architecture." Taken from the pamphlet "Splace" by Karl-Heinz Klopf and Sigrid Kurz.

Point of departure for Karl-Heinz Klopf's extensive researching was the "Work group object planning": a project in which buildings, which are associated with memories, or which have some kind of relationship, compress a city. (Suess)


Splace, 1996

Galerie Stadtpark, Krems (NÖ), Austria

Cities on the Move. Contemporary Asian Art on the turn of the 21st century, 1997

Capc Musée d'art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France

P.S.1, New York, U.S.A

Wiener Secession, Wien, Austria


1h 3min stereo color PAL

Technical protocol

Super-Video home system (S-VHS); Avid Composer (Digital Cut); Beta SP (Master)

Produced together with

Takamitsu & Setsuko Azuma, Yoshiko Inaba, Kei´ichi Irie, Toyo Ito, Wilhelm Klauser, Nobuko Morita, Shihoko Ora, Mie Roth, Arturo Silva, Walter Vogl, Shin & Yoko Watanabe (Interview partners); Sigrid Kurz (concept und production); Kurt Hennrich (Editing, Fischer Film)


Karl-Heinz Klopf; Sigrid Kurz

Post production

Fischer Film, Linz - Wien


Dr. Timmermann, Sektion Kunst Österreichischer Bund; Land Oberösterreich


VerlagTriton, Wien (Video und Broschüre)


Karl-Heinz Klopf

Copy to see

Basis Wien, Kunst, Information und Archiv; Depot, Wien