The installation „Gazing at the Glazing“ consists of 54 riot shields used by police authorities worldwide for crowd control. Cross-shaped stainless steel brackets linked by stainless steel cables connect the individual shiels to form a monumental façade fragment. Due to its own weight, the flat construction seems to unfold and yet is about to collapse.
„Gazing at the Glazing“ plays with different interpretations of transparency. On the one hand it refers to the translucency of the material, as of the riot shield itself. On the other hand transparency also takes place in the sense of an organizational and political dimension. The point-fixed construction is inspired by the first curtain wall façade, part of the "Grande Nation" architectural projects in Paris. The construction of glass façades had become since then a permanent part of the vocabulary of democratical representation: it stands for visibility, participation, and openness.
In Petrov's installation, however, these representational clichés are dismissed; there is a lack of stability or protection. The border between the inside and the outside, which is inherent to architecture seems to dissolve creating a hybrid structure, that oscillates between sculpture and architecture.
Gazing at the Glazing (2021)
riot shields (polycarbonate), stainless steel brackets, stainless steel ropes