The isolation of the individual in the jungle of the big city is the subject of the 2001 series of “Modern Sufferings.” As the title tells us, the series revolves around man and his possibilities of living. With only a limited number of motifs, the photographs depict facades of high-rise buildings in dark brownish shades. Often viewed from below, human beings appear as shadowy figures without identity, if at all. Again, space, time and place do not seem real, everything seems to be a blurred image of reality. Through the use of photographic techniques such as blurring or distortion, the pictures reflect our fast-moving times in which one does not seize the pleasures of the moment anymore.
Gottmann sensitizes us to the causes and results of an alienated life in the urban jungles of our time. Some compositions focus on a close-up view of facades of buildings, where rows of windows are like dark, blank, totally undistinctive eyes. The silhouettes of office buildings and financial districts appear like phantoms of themselves, and sinister facades tell about today’s anonymous urban life. “Modern Suffering” refers to suffering in a world where man can no longer determine how to live within his environment, but is controlled by it. Forced to move faster and faster and to work ever harder in order to avoid poverty, he is threatened to lose his identity and live in the shadows. [Extract : Kunstmarkt]