“The first and most universal form in the codified articulation of Ursula Schulz-Dornburg’s work consists of cycles and series based on a dismissal of the individual images’ fetishization. The principle of the sequence found its way into contemporary art via Minimalism and the basic idea of permutative seriality and took hold in photography early on in the motion studies of Edward Muybridge. The construction of the series not only opposed the aura of the individual tableau and its determination of contexlessness and claim of autonomy, but also simultaneously legitimises itself as a procedure of expounded archival knowledge.
This method of recording and storing by means of a taxonomy is exemplified in Ursula Schulz-Dornburg’s cycle of Armenia bus stops, which was compiled over a period of seven years. Built as futuristic structures and structures with a future, these bus shelters are architectural statement from the Stalinist era of the Soviety Union, when monumental infrastructure facilities were erected in five-year plans as a sheer demonstrative gesture, often in the middle of the desert.
Her adherence to stringent rules in the process of taking pictures facilitates the comparability of objects. The serial character results from the systematic treatment of photographic variables such as distance, angle, orientation, and alignment of the horizontal lines. This formal discipline is not about cinematic sequentiality with direction and dynamic, but a sober syntactic interrelation of the sequence that reveals the rule-bound nature of a typology. Through the coexistence of works within the collection, an individual building of this type of vernacular architecture refers to a ‘genus proximum,’ to its universal incidence, and thus becomes recognizable in its universality. (…)
The constituents of formal continuity that lend a series the character of interconnection are sometimes latent intimations and sometimes salient characteristics of a sustained formal language. In any case, they are subject to the purpose of identifying a space. They act as measures for the production of relation and comparability, of coherence and context, but are never an aesthetic criterion in and of themselves. Images are justified not by the adherence to formalisms, but by the concept of the object. The prints that are related to one another in the grammatical structure of a series are oriented solely to recognition and explication while dispensing with the suggestion of an interpretation. Serving as material and a lever, the visual document of photography fosters thinking in this process without itself wanting to be a presentation of evidence and judgement.”
— Wolfgang Scheppe “Field Loss” in Some Works by Ursula Schulz-Dornburg.