Million Dollar Ocean Views Up Here

Billboard that gave the title for the work

Andreas Hagenbach‘s photographs of «One Million Dollar Views Up Here» forces us to look into the culture that led up to the economic crisis that began 2008 and today still echoes upon us as globalized society. The obsession with ‚home’ not only transforms the houses we live in, but also has profound implications on our production of identity, how we place ourselves in this world. The domestic home and the national home have began to look alike: they became fortresses inside we worry about safety and protect our wealth.

Even today there are thick walls to drill when discussing the economics and the culture of real estate business. A set of different fears (a longterm investment in unsecure times, changes in one own's economical situation, missing out an opportunity) act as contagious agents polluting the grounds of common sense. We like to think our home is our safe guard, but today in our globalized world our homes are vulnerable and open as never before. Through the global financing system we are literally interconnected, as the subprime crisis has shown. Our own fears become now the ones of many, we cannot maintain anymore the illusion that by closing the front door we are alone and safe at home.


Pigeons set loose


These photographs describe a journey into the periphery of West Australian capital Perth. Its suburbia is paraphrased in the real estate adds as paradise – or a sort of, with the promise to become a better, an updated paradise, surely better than the old one that also was nothing less than paradise. No one is forced to believe the marketer talk with its mighty buzz words ‚location’ and ‚lifestyle’. Still the question remains, why the need for a roof and a house has been replaced by the costly illusion, that these dwellings harbour homes and not transient developers investments.

If a person is spotted in these photographs, between the bunkers of consumption, the self constructed isolation becomes an ardent irony amidst the horridness of an pre-emptied landscape that is filled with an established set of what is thought to be good enough to be rapidly resold. The idea of ‚no one saw it coming’ was offered to us by the media, who reflected the mindsets rejecting the possibility of crisis when in reality it was just a few moments ahead. Have we learnt the lesson? 


Million Dollar Ocean Views Up Here has been shown 2006 in Kunsthaus Baselland in the solo show Million Dollar Ocean Views Up Here curated by Sabine Schaschl, 2017 in Wa(h)re Angst curated by Janusz Czech in Alfred Kern Turm Pforzheim.