All posts filed under: Architecture

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BJP Breakthrough 2016: Presenting the Single Image runners-up

SAM IVIN What does it mean to be an asylum seeker in the UK? The question first struck Sam Ivin in 2013, after seeing news reports of a high volume of asylum applications and a UK border agency struggling to get a handle on the situation. A Documentary Photography student at University of South Wales, Newport at the time, he decided to visit drop-in centres and actually get up-close with the human beings behind the headlines. The resulting series, Lingering Ghosts, published by Fabrica earlier this year, gives a visceral insight into the inner lives of the dispossessed. The series has recently been exhibited at Athens Photo Festival, will be shown at Rome’s Galleria del Cembalo in September and features in our next issue of BJP, which focuses on photographic responses to migration. Ivin would listen to their stories, take their portrait and then radically intervene in the image – defacing the photograph with a Stanley knife and sandpaper, evoking their sense of loss, confusion and dislocation. His portrait [above], taken in a South London drop-in centre for …



JR makes The Louvre invisible

Chinese architect IM Pei’s glass entrance, first unveiled in 1989, was seen by Parisians, at first, as a tacky, unwanted gimmick, unworthy of the home of the Mona Lisa. Now, 27 years later, The Louvre’s transparent Pyramid is indivisible with one of Paris’ most iconic landmarks. So what better target for the photographic iconoclast JR. The 33-year-old started out as a graffiti artist from the Banlieues – he grew up in Les Bosquets, the son of an Arabic man and French woman. His public artwork is now very quickly becoming rather iconic in itself. For some ten years now, the artist’s photographic collages have been appearing on the walls of cities all over the world. He covered the wall that separates Israeli and Palestinian communities with hundreds of portraits  – Palestinians on the Israeli side, Israelis on the Palestinian side. The intended result was both obvious and, nevertheless, deeply powerful, for no-one could tell the difference between the two sides. He covered Paris’ Pantheon with images of the city’s street-level people. One of the city’s grandest, most ornate people, covered with the expressions of …



Photographing Modern Belgrade

Belgrade was once two cities. But after the Second World War, the marshy ground between the Danube and its tributary, the Sava was sanitised and the bridging area of Novi Beograd (New Belgrade) grew. Thus, its neighbour, Zemun, was co-opted into the new giant, and the city that we now know as Belgrade took shape. As such, the city became the physical and philosophical manifestation of the new Yugoslavian republic: A landmass with questionable topographical ties, brought together by a compelling political agenda. A big gesture was required –  not just to house the thousands of displaced citizens – but to give them a future, a future that they owned. Nearly 70 years later, Yugoslavia is history. It’s a memory of a failed state subject to hot headed hagiographies, triumphalist Western obloquies, or – perhaps most fairly – a subject of confusion, remembered by survivors of increasingly forgotten wars. People of my generation know Yugoslavia as a symbol of the postwar Soviet land grab; an oppressive social experiment that deserved to go down in flames. …


Sun Tunnels

The Great Basin Desert in Northwestern Utah, about 4 miles southwest of Lucin (pop. 10) and 9 miles east of the Nevada border.

Total length: 86 ft.
Tunnel length: 18 ft.
Tunnel diameters outside: 9 ft. 2-1/2 in.
Tunnel diameters inside: 8 ft.
Wall thickness: 7 1/2 in.

The tunnels are aligned with the sun on the horizon (the sunrises and sunsets) on the solstices.

Each tunnel has a different configuration of holes 
corresponding to stars in four constellations: 
Draco, Perseus, Columba, Capricorn

Troublemakers: How renegade New York artists pioneered land art

Art historian and film director, James Crump, reclines on a plush, crimson sofa, which appropriately compliments s backdrop of a fiery red image of land artist, Robert Smithson’s, Spiral Getty (1970). It is the devilish poster for Crump’s new film Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art. The documentary honours four pioneering figures of the earthworks movement in the 1960s and 70s; Michael Heizer, Walter De Maria, Robert Smithson and his wife, Nancy Holt. The group are bound by their desire to make art that surpassed traditional painting and sculpture and their ambition to construct installations that encapsulated both history and modern science. They rejected the containment of the art gallery as an exhibition space, seeking a much larger canvas to work upon. “The phrase Troublemakers comes out of my interview with Germano Celant,” says Crump of the  renowned art historian interviewed in the film. “They were stirring up trouble, they were stirring up things and they were challenging traditional norms. I think the word ‘troublemaker’ is another phrase for taking up a critical position on what’s going …


Samuel Bourne - 'Ladies in Kashmir', India, c. 1865, Albumen print

Early British Colonial Travellers Show Earliest Images of India

The first half of the 19th-century was a tipping point for British imperial presence in the Indian subcontinent. No longer preoccupied with the chase of conquest, the focus had moved to colonial rule. This led to the opportunity for increased geographical and cultural exploration, and with it scope for understanding the diverse landscapes, languages, buildings and religions of India in greater depth. It is this context that Tripe, Murray, Bourne: Photographic Journeys in India 1855-1870, an exhibition of rare prints on display at Prahlad Bubbar’s Mayfair gallery, brings to life. “The journey is what ties these photographers together,” Bubbar says. “Tripe, Murray and Bourne…the greatest British photographers working out of India in the 19th century.” The significance of this period in photographic history is difficult to overstate. With the camera arriving in India in 1839, shortly after its invention, the sheer technical ability required – aeons away from the simple touch of a smartphone screen – made travel photography a grueling practice. “Can you imagine? It’s forty degrees, it’s raining, you’re up in the mountains. …


The Vanishing Architecture of the Wildwood Motels in New Jersey

Through a rare combination of economics, geography and chance, the island of Wildwood contains a national treasure: the highest concentration of mid-century modern hospitality architecture in the United States. In a new photobook published by Booth Clibborn-Editions this June, Havens, a professor in industrial design at Philadelphia University, photographs the kitsch and nostalgic aesthetic of Wildwood’s unique modernist architecture. Built in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Wildwood’s motels were developed in anticipation of the arrival of the Garden State Parkway, a four-lane toll road that would ultimately run the length of New Jersey, bringing with it a flurry of tourists from the surrounding states. Talking to The New York Times, Havens said: “The hotels were the backdrop of my summer. We would always pile in the car and drive around and look at all the hotels in the same way families drive around and look at Christmas lights at holiday season. Once they started to disappear, I realised just how much I took them for granted.” Entitled Out of Season: The Vanishing Architecture of the Wildwoods, …


GB. England. Canterbury Cathedral. (Christ’s)

From 'The English Cathedral', a Book published by Merrell in October 2012. Between 2010 and 2012 Peter Marlow photographed the Nave's of all forty two of England's Anglican cathedrals using only natural light at dawn.  Marlow’s  photographs are accompanied by his commentary on the project, including sketches and preparatory shots; an introduction by V&A senior photography curator Martin Barnes on the tradition of church photography in England, and a concise summary of each cathedral interior by architectural historian John Goodall.


Late photographer Peter Marlow’s final exhibition to launch in Coventry Cathedral

In 2008, Marlow was commissioned by Royal Mail, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the completion of St Paul’s Cathedral, to photograph six cathedrals. The resulting images of Lichfield, Belfast, Gloucester, St David’s, Westminster, and St Magnus in Orkney were issued as a set of six commemorative stamps. This week, at the historic Coventry Cathedral, the work will be displayed for the first time in one of the spaces featured in the series, the first time the project has been exhibited outside of London. Once the commission was complete, Marlow was inspired to continue the project and in the following four years shot all 42 of the cathedrals of the Church of England. This endeavour can be viewed as a contemporary update to tradition of church photography in England, particularly the work of Frederick Evans and Edwin Smith. ‘”I began by photographing the aesthetic highlights of each building, but the images seemed to merge with one another,” Marlow said on completion of the series. “In order to differentiate each place, I needed to find …


Divine Projections: The Beauty of Places of Worship, Regardless of Faith

After years of monastic life in a Buddhist forest monastery in the jungle of Thailand, Ernst Christen returned to the hyperactive Western world. Although now a “convinced atheist,” Christen, a Swiss photographer, would find solace in the peace and tranquillity of the places we use to worship God, whomever He may be – the chapels, churches and cathedrals, and the mosques and synagogues too. “I began to visit every temple, every mosque, every church and every synagogue that crosses my way,” he says. Christen, born in 1964, worked as a project manager in the automotive industry. He quit and decided to travel the world on bicycle, before becoming a Buddhist Monk in Thailand. He now lives near Solothurn in Switzerland In all the coming and going of visitors, Christen would find a quiet corner, and work on finding a way to capture the spirituality of the place. “It is not the building itself that I want to photograph,” he says. “What I am trying to capture is its noble and contemplative atmosphere.” In doing so, he realised how difficult it …


Markus Brunetti’s Monumental Church Façades

He got the idea for it while travelling through the continent with his partner, Betty Schöner, in their so-called “expedition truck”. A vehicle they’d converted themselves, the truck allowed them to live and work on the move, travelling from country to country on what the Bavarian calls their “Grand Tour”; it also allowed them to take time out from their busy working lives as commercial photographers, and to let projects unfold at their own rate. Born into a family of builders and architects, Brunetti soon found himself drawn to the sacred places they were passing on the way. “During the first year of our journey, I developed a precise visual idea of how to approach the series – a very clear, minimal, reduced representation of the façades, an idealised picture so to speak,” says the 50-year-old. “I studied the original drawings and plans of the façades I was interested in. The technical realisation developed over time and is something I refine and improve on with each new work.” All of the churches and cathedrals in …


BJP Staff