Menno Aden‘s series Parallele Heimat (Parallel Homes), which was awarded the 2009 European Architecture Prize, shows nature honed and shaped in the form of front yards. He now continues this idea in his series Tracks and Fields in the same vein, following a similar vision bound by strict aesthetic principles. A well-ordered system dominated by tones and surfaces emerges in his compositions of long, vertical images. The extreme cropping of his photographs works against the typical expanse of a landscape and requires the viewer to move his gaze independently to the next bordering image. Our typical gaze is called into question and put to the test when no single horizontal line is there to guide our eyes into the distance. Instead, a play of colors and surfaces dominates.
He forcefully carries out this optical alternation, weaving the structures into two-dimensional series. His images, which were made in new housing developments, present us with a perfect environment, which finds analogy in the strict photographic sectionals of reality. As though ordered according to a two-dimensional plan, everything fits perfectly into an ordered system, and space is smoothed into two dimensions. It is not without irony that Aden uses the title Parallel Homes to play with ideas of the uniformity of these German suburban areas, their identical seeming front yards reflected in the precise structure of the architectural details.