The architectural model gained new prominence after a period of decline when it became a popular tool for design education and practice in the early twentieth century. This revival is usually associated with the turn towards objectivity and the search for expressive means to communicate ideas in three dimensions–but how was the model transformed in the age of its mechanical reproducibility?
Modernism in Miniature: Points of View explores the encounter between photography and model-making between 1920-1960. It focuses on model photography as a distinctive genre and suggests that the so-called ‘model boom’ was inextricably bound up with the explosion of modern mass media.
The objects on display illustrate a variety of visual practices ranging from straight records of study models to hyper-realist photomontage. Channelled by the illustrated press, miniatures reached out to a wide public and, in some cases, acquired enduring cult status. By revisiting a widespread yet oft-neglected imagery, the exhibition provokes questions about the relationship between media in architectural culture and the specific impact of photography on the perception of the miniature.
Modernism in Miniature: Points of View, September 22 – January 8, at Octagonal Gallery, The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), Montréal, Québec