Tokyo, Up/Down




As urban environments become increasingly dependent on the efficient use of space, high-rise structures offer the solution to overpopulation issues. Lifts enabled the development of multi-storied buildings and fundamentally altered urban landscapes and social space. Tokyo epitomises the densely populated megalopolis, where elevators are a showcase for the basic paradox of personal alienation in urban living: the inescapable physical proximity countered by emotional distance. Triggered by this phenomenon, Xavier Comas (1970, Spain) explores vertical transportation in the intimacy of the lift cabin, a moment of silence suspended in space and time, which nonetheless yields a rich array of subtle interactions between strangers on the shortest ever journey.