Exploration MSS3 Fall 2021

Disappearing Site

Translating the fairy tale

Abstract interpretations of the fairy tale

Based on the three central themes I had identified in the fairy tale I started working on “concept art” or abstract interpretations for six different chapters that I found particularly clearly depicted the different themes of the tale. I initially selected important passages and descriptive elements in the text and did an intuitive color scheme for each of the chapters which I then translated to digital imagery using blending and overlay-techniques of textures, images and lines in Photoshop. Using blending seemed like and appropriate technique since the author of the tale also works with a blending of reality and the imaginary, of past and present and of life and death.

Abstract interpretations

Using the allegory

An allegory is a narrative or visual representation in which a character, place, or event can be interpreted to represent a hidden meaning with moral or political significance, the allegory can be used to illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts. As mentioned earlier the Neverending story is full of allegories. In my case I wanted to use the allegory as a way to move from the abstract “fairy tale-space” to a real-life demolition site in Gothenburg. I started this process by analyzing the abstract interpretations and identifying certain elements in them that carried spatial meaning. The identified elements are shown below:


Disappearing site / In the Neverending story: The nothing is a strange force that consumes all of Fantastica due to humans forgetting about fantasy and imagination in favor of rationality and a materialistic worldview. Where the nothing has been there is just emptiness.

Disappearing site / In my project: The process of demolition is being explored. Currently there are a lot of ongoing demolitions around Gothenburg that have gathered some attention and, in some cases, even resistance. Big cranes and explosives tear down existing buildings leaving holes in the urban fabric. Whether one thinks it’s right or wrong − the physical traces and sometimes the memories of the building itself − are gone.

The mine /In the Neverending story: The picture mine is where Bastian goes to recover his lost memories without which he cannot continue his journey.

The mine /In my project: The mine is an allegory for situating oneself in the passage of time and traveling between experiences and memories of past, present and future as well as between reality and imagination.

Furthermore, in the mine, the process of mining is being practiced which means extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials. In my project extraction means uncovering traces and remnants of past buildings and structures at the site.

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