All posts tagged: Architecture

Great Heights

Are these photographs for real? Yes, they certainly are – Korean photographer Ahn Jun may sometimes use a harness if she’s leaning over the side of a building to photograph her feet, but she really is leaning over the side of a building, or leaping up onto its edge. Her project is titled Self-Portrait and, she says, it’s a kind of performance without an audience. “There was a day when I recalled my adolescent years,” she explains. “I was sitting on the edge of my apartment in New York and looking over the cityscape. I had a thought that suddenly my youth was coming to an end and I could not figure out the future. I sat on the edge and looked down. Then I saw the empty space, the void, and there was a sudden change in my perspective on life and death, present and future. The vision of the cityscape I was witnessing was not real for that moment – I felt the illusion of beautiful buildings was just like the future, or …

2014-10-01T18:31:04+00:00

Building Sight

One of the first subjects photographers turned to when photography was invented was architecture. Given the limitations of early cameras, it was crucial that buildings, unlike people, did not move. Or talk back, for that matter. And, importantly, if you argue that a primary mission of early photographers was to symbolise the imperialist enterprise by making an inventory of the material things of the world – which the colonialist powers largely owned – then architecture was one of the camera’s most vital subjects. [bjp_ad_slot] For example, PH Delamotte’s 1855 album about the removal of the Crystal Palace to its final site in Sydenham is not only one of the great examples of early architectural photography, it is first and foremost a company report. It provides the first example of the qualities the writer David Campany invests in the photography of architecture – that it is document, publicity and commentary. Actually, Campany also adds art, but we’ll come to that later. His thoughts on photography and architecture appear in the catalogue Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture …

2014-09-24T16:08:47+00:00

Frédéric Chaubin provides the cover image for our special issue on architecture and the built environment

BJP #7828: Constructing Worlds

“One of the first subjects to which photographers turned with relief when photography was invented was architecture,” writes Gerry Badger in September’s issue of BJP, which went on sale on 03 September. “Of course it was. Given the limitations of early cameras, it was crucial that buildings, unlike people, did not move. Or talk back, for that matter…. Ever since the 19th century, photographers and architects have had a symbiotic relationship. A surprising number of people in photography, myself included, studied architecture, or even practised it. Many leading photographers of the built environment have taught on architectural courses, such as Lewis Baltz and Guido Guidi at the celebrated architecture school in Venice. And architecture was the primary subject for both the greatest photographer, and the most important photographer of the 20th century, Eugène Atget and Walker Evans respectively.” [bjp_ad_slot] Much of issue #7828 is devoted to the creative interplay between the two disciplines; a celebration of photography and the built environment in response to two major new surveys coming this autumn – Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture …

2015-04-23T18:25:29+00:00

Building Sights

BJP

Gerry Badger writes in this month’s issue of BJP about photography and the built environment, responding to Barbican Art Centre’s upcoming exhibition, Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age  (25 September—11 January), and Phaidon’s book covering similar territory, Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography, published 29 September. Here follows an extract of his article: There is too much artsy fartsy in contemporary photography, and architectural photography seems particularly adept at bringing out the portentous and the pretentious. There is much contemporary pictorialism, flights from naturalism and the document into the realms of the abstract and constructed – partly because this is a tendency, and partly because it seems easier, and in some ways more fun, to mess about with Photoshop. Making meaningful straight photographs is extremely difficult. [bjp_ad_slot] It is one of the great paradoxes of photography – the ‘art of the real’ – that so many seek refuge in pictorialism in the desperate desire to make photographic ‘art’ that is seen to be art. For example, are Hiroshi Sugimoto’s soft focus images of modernist …

2014-09-22T13:19:03+00:00

Alban Lécuyer’s Here Soon

Here Soon, Alban Lécuyer’s latest series, originated from his previous work, in which he set up images of listed buildings being demolished among a conventional urban environment. “When I was working on that project, I came across many computer-generated images produced by architectural firms to promote the buildings that would replace the older ones,” he says. Lécuyer collected a lot of these images to unravel the basic principles used by architectural firms to promote and sell their creations. “The light is always excellent, the sun is always shining, there are blue skies, the colours are saturated, and all the trees and the people added are often transparent so as to not obscure the building,” he explains. “But the most important principle, at least for me, was the choice of characters added to these images. There’s a very conscious and commercial choice for presenting only young and attractive people, with a real emphasis on women – because the sight of a woman is reassuring. You won’t find young guys wearing baseball caps in these pictures, or …

2013-12-11T11:09:12+00:00

BJP Staff