Posts tagged with "Photography":

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New photography exhibition explores four Marcel Breuer projects from all over the world

For the Met Breuer’s first architecture exhibition, curator Beatrice Galilee has commissioned photographers Luisa Lambri and Bas Princen to revisit the iconic work of Marcel Breuer. The exhibition presents two distinct series of photographs paying homage to Breuer’s still-existing monumental modernist buildings from the 1950s and 1960s. The selected buildings include Saint John’s Abbey Church in Collegeville, Minnesota and the UNESCO headquarters in Paris which are Breuer’s first two important institutional buildings. These buildings were significant because they allowed Breuer to expand beyond what was essentially a residential practice. The IBM Research center in La Gaude, France (which is Breuer’s personal favorite) is known for its modular prefabricated concrete facade panels and distinctive double Y-shaped plan. The final building selected for the exhibition is the former Whitney Museum of American Art (now the Met Breuer). The museum is a New York City landmark known for its strong urban form as an inverted ziggurat. Lambri and Princen’s uniquely idiosyncratic approaches to the commission provide a welcoming juxtaposition of photographs. Lambri’s work documents the ephemeral experience of interior space through focused studies of light and materiality. The hexagonal screen at Saint John’s and the trapezoidal window at the Met Breuer are each documented as a series of photographs displaying the calm modulation of light over time. Princen’s dramatically large scale photographs document the post-occupancy use of buildings and their evolving relationship with nature. The sculptural, tree-like pillars at Saint John’s library are framed by a row of ordinary public library book shelves in the foreground. Upon revisiting the unoccupied IBM research center, Princen’s photos place the building within what appears to be an overgrown forest—a distinct contrast to the 1965 site which was sparsely covered by small trees. Long after Marcel Breuer’s passing in 1981, the influence of his work continues to gradually develop much like the life of buildings after they leave the drafting table. Both Lambri’s and Princen’s photos present us the opportunity to contemplate Breuer’s work unencumbered by the great modernist architect’s own intentions. Breuer Revisited: New Photographs runs through May 21, 2017, at The Met Breuer.
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Japanese photographer Sohei Nishino gets his first solo U.S. show at SFMOMA

The first solo exhibition in the United States of Japanese photographer Sohei Nishino’s work is currently on view at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) in New Work: Sohei Nishino. The exhibition presents a new collection of work in the photographer’s Diorama Maps photograph series. Each of the works depicts a different city explosively photographed by Nishino to be seen from above as a type of meticulously collaged and abstracted aerial view. To arrive at this final image, the artist spends months walking a city and snapping photographs that are printed and assembled by hand into a giant collage. That collage is then digitized and finally printed as a large-scale digital photograph. The high-resolution images in New Work: Sohei Nishino feature scenes from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; London; Havana; and a view of San Francisco made specifically for the exhibition.

New Work: Sohei Nishino San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 151 Third Street, San Francisco Through February 26, 2017

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Photographer Edward Burtynsky captures the abstract beauty of salt pans in India

These 31 aerial images showing the salt pans in the Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, India, were taken during a ten-day shooting expedition by Edward Burtynsky. They present the pans, wells, and vehicle tracks as abstract, geometric, painterly patterns: subtly colored rectangles crossed by grids of gestural lines; and yet the reality behind the ironic beauty of Burtynsky’s pictures is a harsh one. Each year 100,000 poorly paid Agariya workers toil in the pans, extracting over a million tons of salt. Furthermore, receding groundwater levels, combined with debt, diminishing market values as well as a lack of governmental support, threaten the future of this 400-year-old tradition and those lives dependent upon it. “The images in this book are not about the battles being fought on the ground,” Burtynsky wrote. “Rather, they examine this ancient method of providing one of the most basic elements of our diet; as primitive industry and as abstract two-dimensional human marks upon the landscape.”

Salt Pans by Edward Burtynsky, Steidl, $60.00.

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The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston showcases photographer who documented NYC streets for nearly 50 years

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will pay tribute to Helen Levitt, the American photographer known for capturing scenes of urban life in New York City. The exhibition, titled Helen Levitt: In the Street, covers her career from the late 1930s to the mid-1980s. It features more than 40 works, as well as her 1948 short film In the Street, which centered on her early photographs of children. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Levitt was included in the inaugural exhibition of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art, and she had her first of three solo shows there just three years later. By the late 1940s, Levitt had begun experimenting with the moving image, and worked full-time with film until the advent of color photography in 1959. It was then that she picked up the camera to revisit the scenes she had captured in black-and-white.

Helen Levitt: In the Street The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 5601 Main Street, Houston Through January 2

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Studio Gang fuses storage and display in their design for a traveling photography exhibition

Studio Gang Architects, working with art advocate Project&, have produced a traveling photography exhibition that highlights the stories and photographs of 24 American workers. Studio Gang produced 18 modular display cases which double as the show’s shipping containers. The show, entitled Working in America, features the work of Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer Lynsey Addario. The opening of the show corresponds with the anniversary of Studs Terkel’s 1974 book Working, which explored similar themes. The show consists of stories and images from across the country. Studio Gang’s design features seven-foot-tall display cases that can be locked together in sets of three. These cases were developed for ease of transportation and the ability to show in difficult situations. This was important as the show will be traveling through the United States on display at public libraries. Exhibiting in libraries presents a special challenge, in that work can be displayed on the walls. “I envisioned self-crating steamer trunks that held an entire world inside, and when opened, revealed the large-scale photographs and the working lives of Americans, putting their voices and narratives at the center,” explained Jane M. Saks, the show's curator. “The team from Studio Gang not only turned that vision into a reality, but they designed the displays so that they lock together and literally hold each other up. The design is elegant and almost poetic in the way it speaks to our interdependence as workers and human beings, and the strength of all of us when we join together.” The cases are built of Baltic Birch plywood and vegetable-tanned leather for the handles. “We wanted to give visual space and dignity to each of the individuals represented in the photographs,” said Jeanne Gang. Studio Gang’s experience with exhibition design includes shows for the Art Institute of Chicago, Art Basel Miami, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Working in America is currently on display at Chicago’s Harold Washington Library Center, and will run through the end of January.
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Winners announced for 5th Az W Photo Award

Vienna-based museum Architekturzentrum Wien has named the winners of the fifth Az W Photo Award. The winners will be displayed for three weeks at the Architekturzentrum Wien. The theme “I ♥ Architecture” inspired a total of 252 amateur and professional photographers to submit their best images—more entrants than any of the four previous contests. John Fraser from the United Kingdom took the first prize with his image of the top of a modern shopping center emerging from the surrounding traditional Victorian neighborhood. The contest’s jury praised him for his strength of contrast:
“Within a historic context of Victorian architecture a reflective swoosh cuts its way into the Birmingham of today. The photo illustrates the transformation of an industrial town into a service industries city and opens up room for different interpretations. What do we see here? And, above all, where are we here?”
John Fraser will receive an Eames Plastic Chair from Vitra for his winning image and his photo will be on display alongside 9 entries that were shortlisted. There was an additional contest determined by voting on Facebook, won by photographer Pia Odorizzi after her photo accumulated 245 likes. Odorizzi’s photo will be displayed for two days on the 2,254 Info screens throughout Austria, which entertain more than 1.4 million viewers each week across Austria’s five regional capitals.
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An exhibition offers in-depth insight into artist Barbara Kasten’s career

The touring exhibition Barbara Kasten: Stages will arrive at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA) this summer, following presentations at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Graham Foundation in Chicago. The exhibition collects works from four decades in the artist’s career, from the 1970s to present. Barbara Kasten: Stages is the first major survey of the artist’s work, incorporating her sculptures and photography with documentation of her artistic process. According to curator Alex Klein, “stages” refers both to the stages of the artist’s career and her own process of staging sculptures in space.

The exhibition includes many of Kasten’s most well-known photographs from the Architectural Sites series, in which she abstracted works of postmodern architecture, like Frank Gehry’s Loyola Law School using an elaborate staging of light, sculpture, and mirrors and then printed them using the dye-destruction method Cibachrome for better depth of color and clarity. Stages will also include Kasten’s work with cyanotypes, which use the same technique used to make blueprints, and her early work with furniture sculptures.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Pacific Design Center 8687 Melrose Avenue West Hollywood, CA 90069 Through August 14

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The “stealth collages” of Marshall Brown at Chicago’s Western Exhibitions gallery

Hosted at Chicago’s Western Exhibitions, Chimera is a presentation of the architectural photomontages by Chicago-based architect Marshall Brown. Using a technique Brown refers to as “stealth collage,” images of buildings are cut and pasted into diverse, incompatible alignments. The specific pieces on display were created in 2014 as a set of 100 14- by 17-inch compositions. Chimera is the second solo show for Marshall Brown at Western Exhibitions. Marshall Brown is a practicing architect and an associate professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture. His practice, Marshall Brown Projects, has work currently on exhibit as part of the United States Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale.

Chimera: The Work of Marshall Brown was on show at Western Exhibitions, 845 West Washington Boulevard, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL, through June 25.

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Amie Siegel uses film and photography to explore architecture and fetishization

The Spear in the Stone at Simon Preston Gallery brings together two works by Amie Siegel: Fetish (2016) and Double Negative (2015). Siegel, who made the film The Architects for the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennial in 2014, has taken architecture as the subject of some of her works such as Provenance (2013) and Quarry (2015). Similar to these earlier works, architecture in The Spear in the Stone becomes the entry point to an aesthetic inquiry about the animism of objects and the means by which they attain value. One enters the gallery facing a photograph of the French coast. The photograph resembles an intaglio print and sets the tone for the exhibition, which oscillates between different mediums of film and photography. This variety highlights various aspects of what one might call our contemporary fetishes and how they become apparent in the institutional acts of documentation, preservation, and even cleaning. The first part of Double Negative is an installation consisting of two silent black and white 16 mm films that depict the Villa Savoye and its black replica, the building for the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra, Australia, designed by the firm Ashton Raggatt McDougall. In the gallery space, the projector occupies the center of the room and the two films are projected diagonally across from each other. The two films, initially made on 16 mm stock, are printed on 16 mm stock as negative images. This transfer from positive to negative leads to an abstraction of information and as details become less prominent, the two buildings resemble each other more. As the film itself is exposed to the air, dust, and humidity in the gallery, it presumably becomes scratched and loses more definition every time it loops. The negative print reverses the colors of the buildings. The reversal is further reflected in the environments of the two buildings. The opening scenes of both films display swans, one black (native to Australia) and one white, which are mirrored but at the same time reversed in color. Through these reflections and reversals, and through the loss of definition in the medium, the two buildings become equivalent, no longer one original and the other a copy, but negatives of each other. In The Miracle of Analogy: or the History of Photography, Kaja Silverman writes that the photographic medium did not necessarily develop out of a desire for reproduction and dissemination of sameness, but out of analogy and a desire to make traces and connections by means of images. When located in analog photography, the two buildings open up a conversation that slightly distorts the dominant story of Villa Savoye becoming a sign of Western modernism and being replicated for an institution dedicated to study of "other" cultures. Instead, by treating the two buildings as equivalents, the installation speaks of a fascination with architecture that raises the question: Why this fascination in the first place and why exactly is this architecture seductive? The second part of Double Negative is a color HD video that takes the viewers from the shores of France to the interiors of Villa Savoye and then from the beaches of Australia to inside the Institute, where archival material is being duplicated into digital copies. Here, the film focuses on the material that makes up the archives of the institution and also on the machines and devices that are meticulously recording and duplicating these items into a digital format. As we see a culture disappearing and being preserved by ethnography, we also see former technologies and mediums disappearing and now being preserved by newer ones. The two kinds obsolescence, cultural and technological, follow one another. Which one is more valuable, the actual object and its story in a given culture, or the ethnographic practice that tries to document and make sense of these? Fetish, in its ethnographic definition, is a "material thing with intense spiritual power." The "material thing" is as much a stone as it is the video of an ethnographic field trip that is being digitally duplicated and the "spiritual power" relates as much to a disappearing culture as to the foundations of ethnography as a discipline with its documents, archives, and methods. The meticulous duplication—the attempt to protect and preserve every bit and piece of information that is in the collection—directly contrasts the method by which information is lost in the first part of Double Negative. The hygienic environment of the institute also contrasts with the gallery where the 16 mm film is exposed to air. The next space in the gallery contains Fetish, another HD video formatted as CinemaScope, showing the yearly cleaning of Freud's collection of archeological artifacts at the London Freud Museum. Freud, one of the top theorists of fetish in the modern world, was an avid collector of small archaeological statues, which were displayed on his desk and shelves in his office. In Fetish, lights go on, the camera shoots the different parts of the Freud's office and focuses on the cleaning activity. The CinemaScope format allows tracking shots throughout the video, showing the objects on Freud's desk and shelves. While the tangibility of the objects is captured in the acts of cleaning and the sounds of brushes touching the objects, the visual environment of the CinemaScope hinder the touch. A contemporary version of fetish emerges between the objects and their images. The title The Spear in the Stone comes from an ethnographic video recording found at the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Parts of original recordings can be seen in Double Negative as they are being digitally transferred. With these two works, the exhibition raises the questions: What is our spear in the stone; what are our myths and fetishes; what instills animism in our objects? And furthermore, what is the role of architecture? In this exhibition, architecture is where the seduction begins as an entry point to the object world. A material and spatial practice that is at the same time a sign of cultural predilections and preferences, architecture can also be imagined as the beginning of stories that animate our world of objects.
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Huntington Library showcases Yasuhiro Ishimoto’s photographs of Greene and Greene’s Pasadena architecture

After triumphantly declaring "The hand is back” at this year’s Venice Biennale, Swiss architect Peter Zumthor touched off a debate within the architectural community regarding an age-old divide that echoes back through the annals of the architectural profession, pitting the handmade against and the technologically-derived. And while today’s quarrels over parametricism and auto-construction have found new kindling, let’s remember that, with roots in the Industrial Revolution, these disagreements have been smoldering for generations. The work of brothers Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene in Southern California produced unambiguously handmade works within the American context of the early 1900s. Their buildings, the majestic Gamble House and the lavish Blacker House, for example, were over-wrought odes to bespoke craftsmanship that would not be out of place in today’s hipster bazaars. Built amid the bucolic environs of freshly conquered territories, the Craftsman-style Greene and Greene espoused not only represented a powerful counter to mass production, but utilized the a fluid vocabulary of vernacular Asian influences for inspiration. More specifically, Greene and Greene’s designs worked hard to profess this return to artisanship by drawing heavily from the traditional wooden architecture of Japan. The Huntington Library, by showcasing the work of Japanese-American photographer Yasuhiro Ishimoto’s photographs of Greens and Greene's Pasadena architecture, aims to bring the Greene Brothers’ cultural appropriation full circle by examining the influence of American cultural appropriation from the Japanese point of view.
Ishimoto, a man born in San Francisco, California but raised in Japan, became a renowned photographer after spending World War Two in an internment camp in Colorado. His photographic interests eventually took Ishimoto back to Japan, but he returned to America in 1974 to photograph Greene and Greene’s craftsman houses for a Japanese design magazine. Though Ishimoto's other works have been exhibited in the United States since the 1950s, this show marks the first time his Greene and Greene photographs are being exhibited in America. The 46 black-and-white photographs that resulted focus intently on the literal nuts and bolts of Greene and Greene’s designs; their wooden tectonics and sumptuous finishes are subjects of intense focus and composition. Former curator of the Gamble House Anne Mallek said in a press release for the exhibition, “Ishimoto rarely made an image of a structure in its entirety, but chose rather to examine details and create abstractions, focusing on pattern, light, and structure. All of the images telegraph his sensitivity to material, texture, form, and light.” The exhibition, “Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Bilingual Photography and the Architecture of Greene & Greene,” coincides with the reopening of the Huntington Library’s recently-renovated, Greene and Greene furniture repository that houses period rooms from the Gamble House, and is on view until October 13 2016.
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The ICP opens its first exhibition at a new SOM-designed center

Today, the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York City opens the doors of its new home at 250 Bowery. The ICP's xpansive collection of photographic work include Zach Blas, Martine Syms, Natalie Bookchin, Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, and Andy Warhol Now on display is Public, Private, Secret, an exhibition that “explores the concept of privacy in today’s society and examines how contemporary self-identity is tied to public visibility.” Internationally-based firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) designed the museum; the exhibition itself was designed by New York–based architecture firm common room and graphic designer Geoff Han. The new ICP lobby features a temporary bookstore (currently occupied by Spaces Corners), a weekly poster wall of ICP’s School and Community Education projects, and a cafe, all of which aim to create a lively “village square” environment. Ninety feet of glass frontage help connect the interior to the streetscape. The Public, Private, Secret exhibition space features a range of transparent and reflective materials and surfaces, echoing its conceptual focus on “self-identity.” Materials are exhibited on glass display boxes with aluminum frames. In an adjoining viewing area, visitors can watch additional video works from simple bleacher seating on the back wall. Throughout the museum, the ceiling and duct work are left exposed and painted white; the structural columns are similarly sparse exposed concrete. SOM renovated the building with a minimalist approach, resulting in a space that is versatile and responds to "the spontaneity of the street," as the firm says on their website. “SOM gave us a space that advances ICP’s mission to serve as a forum for dialogue about photography and visual culture, and positions us to bring our exhibitions and programs to new, diverse audiences," said ICP Executive Director Mark Lubell in a press release. Public, Private, Secret, curated by Charlotte Cotton, Pauline Vermare, and Marina Chao, will be open until January 8, 2017.
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Striking drone footage over Cape Town reveals its divided landscape

Aerial photography, by nature, usually reveals patterns that are hard to comprehend as a pedestrian. Large-scale features such as infrastructure, landscape, and human geography can be put into perspective and thanks to Google Maps and other online satellite mapping services, this is information is all readily available at our fingertips.

However, as one photographer has pointed out, much still goes unnoticed. A resident of Cape Town, South Africa since 2012, Johnny Miller has captured the city’s housing landscape and highlighted a problem that's still plaguing post-Apartheid South Africa. As his project title Unequal Scenes suggests, Miller’s images portray the scale and proximity of inequality still present in Cape Town.

"There's a very uniquely South African form of spatial segregation that was developed during the apartheid," said Miller in an interview with The Architect's Newspaper (AN), adding how city planning and infrastructure carved Cape Town's social and racial demographics. "So, for example, roads, rivers, train tracks: the apartheid government did very well at separating people through architecture," he continued. "You see just in the way that the city is designed, it’s going be pretty difficult to redistribute wealth and facilitate the free movement of people."

Miller said he likes how his detailed images facilitate long-term viewing. The physical structure of communities becomes visible, allowing the disparity to be instantly apparent. The homes of the wealthy are arranged in a clearly structured and planned fashion. The "townships" of the poorer, black community however, show roads—if they can be called that—meandering in every which way. As a result, keeping track of dwellings, keeping them on the electric grid and part of the plumbing system, is difficult though most visibly, however, is perhaps the change in color from one side to the other. For instance, one township is adjacent to a golf course: a wealth of greenery covers the wealthier area while the township shows only shack rooftops and dusty dirt-tracks.

Manenberg Phola Park

With the rise of the Nelson Mandela, the apartheid government lost power in 1994. More than twenty years on, Miller explains that change hasn't been easy. There's been a failure in communication between the government and its people, leading to mistrust in state power. "There’s a lot of inequality, disenfranchised people who are really angry," said Miller. But he's is hopeful his project will finally spark a constructive dialogue between the authorities and the population. “I’m trying to promote a peaceful dialogue where people can share their opinions and become aware…. I think awareness is the only tool to defeat the fear that I see as really the root problem,” he added.

Miller hopes the legacy of his project will be the government's response to the questions that arise from his photography. Already, government officials have responded to his work, remarking on their awareness of the issue and stating that they are working on the problem. "What gets me excited about this project... you start to hear those answers, which is really what people want to hear," Miller implored.

Merely photographing the from above, though, isn't Miller's only ambition. He estimates that very few individuals within these poorer communities have even heard about his work. Despite his doing the rounds in South Africa’s printed media, mobile-media remains the dominant form of communication for many in townships. Cellular data tariffs can be pricey. Miller subsequently intends to display his work to residents within the photographed townships, providing what he thinks is an unseen perspective on where they live. “I think it would be really fascinating to show the person on the rich side and the poor side, just see what they have to say.”

Papwa Sewgolum Golf Course 1

In light of the responses Miller’s work has drawn, especially in comments on his Facebook page, it seems that his photography illuminates what appears to be an inconvenient truth for many. “In my opinion, I think it’s a lot of fear that drives these negative comments. Fear of the other, not understanding the person on the other side of the fence."

“Perhaps it takes flying above people, two to three hundred meters, to take away that humanity and reduce humans to mass clearings, or agglomerations, for people to pay attention," he continued, noting how some may have become desensitized to the traditional imagery of poverty: the African child with a bloated stomach looking into the camera. Indeed, "that face" can come from anywhere in the Third World, whereas Miller's drone images illustrate that poverty literally is on their doorstep, something which is arguably more personal.

What is apparent from Miller's work is that the drone provides a new perspective that, in Miller's words, “people really respond to. Seeing something they thought they knew in a different way" is evidently something that resonates—with the wealthier side for now, at least. If you want to follow Johnny Miller's project, you can do so through his Twitter feed, here. You can also find more videos here.