Over the next four weeks‚ we are previewing the work of four of the fifty photographers included in the new book Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography by Elias Redstone‚ published by Phaidon. It promises to be a visual feast, and we have four copies to give away to our readers: see details below...
Ever since the birth of photography – Daguerre′s views of Parisian streets or Fox Talbot′s grainy images of Lacock Abbey – architecture has been one of its central subjects: whether as social or journalistic documentation of the existing‚ communication of the new‚ or increasingly, as the imagined structures and environments of manipulated digital imagery.
Elias Redstone′s new book Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography, published by Phaidon on September 29, celebrates the incredible richness and variety of the processes and practitioners – and of the built environment itself – today. It presents the work of fifty leading photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Bas Princen, Thomas Struth, Wolfgang Tillmans, Richard Wentworth and Michael Wesely (who we feature today)‚ who turn their lenses on subjects ranging from intense urbanisation to the key buildings and interiors of architects such as Rem Koolhaas, SANAA and Zaha Hadid.
uncube asked Redstone to pick the work of four photographers from the book, to give a taste of the range of extraordinary images and practitioners that it contains. So over the next four weeks, under the categories of Construction, Inhabitation, Decay and Destruction, we will be showcasing a specific series of works from each of them, accompanied by Redstone’s own commentary.
WEEK 1: Construction
The work of Michael Wesely
“My long-exposure images question our understanding not only of photography but also our understanding of memory, image, time and imagination and challenge conventions of representation. The process of construction is captured but not the final building, which is only present through its absence.”
– Michael Wesely
Michael Wesely created a photographic process in the 1990s that produced a single image from an extremely long exposure over several months or years. The process uses bespoke camera equipment containing a combination of filters, weatherproofed to protect against the elements during its long presence on site. Based in Berlin, Wesely was inspired to use this process to document major construction projects around the city from start to finish, including Potsdamer Platz, the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin (closed in 2010) and, across the River Spree, the politically charged site of the Palast der Republik as it was destroyed to make way for a reconstruction of the Stadtschloß (City Palace). Elsewhere, his commissions have included the documentation of the construction of the new Museum of Modern Art in New York, designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, for which his photographs were exposed over a three-year period.
By introducing the temporal experience of construction, Wesely reveals architecture′s fragility and the layers of city it all too often hides, while the streaks of the sun across the sky show the passing of time.
– Elias Redstone is an independent curator and writer. His exhibitions include “Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age” at the Barbican Art Gallery, London, and the international touring exhibition “Archizines”.
The Shooting Space competition draw has now closed.
Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography
by Elias Redstone
Phaidon‚ September 2014.
€65.00‚ ISBN: 9780714867427