Brutalism is the term coined to describe the raw architecture often made with concrete during the 1950s and 1960s (with a later resurgence).
When you go into a gallery a painting might cause you to stop and look, it isn’t the spectacle but the aesthetics ability to hold the viewer. Concrete buildings have this ability. They don’t fit into the streets and city centres where they appear (they are by their very nature brutal rather than accommodating) but there strength and power speak of a time when people had a belief in architecture as a force for civic good. These structures were solid spaces to create a solid and strong world emerging from the gloom of the second world war. The buildings represent what was great about building a society, universities, hospitals, local governments as opposed to the steel and glass of contemporary retail and office complexes. These buildings were about real people and real issues and they wore this realism brutally on the outside.
But it’s more than that. The form is itself appealing (beyond what that form represents). Simplicity in architecture is rare and to strip back so much of the adornments and leave the bare walls is somehow sensual, the opposite of what so many critics claim. The way lines are created and cut against the sky or interact with other buildings. The regularity of shape and form caused by the shutter process of creating the concrete, the ability to go up to the building and feel the roughness of the concrete matching and creating an indexical link with the way the building was made.
Sometimes a book is hard to read or a film is hard to watch but by completing it you know it was something important and worthwhile which deserved your perseverance. These buildings also deserve your perseverance. They are evidence of a modernism, a time when we didn’t dress up architecture but left it cold and honest for all to see.
Relics, is a series of lifeguard towers that populate the beaches of Southern California’s Pacific coast, by LA-based photographer and artist Amir Zaki, who is careful to categorize the work as portraiture rather than typology, casting it in an interpretative rather than documentary light.
Relics by Amir Zaki
Horizons, a series of architectural photographs by Brazilian photographer Bruno Cals, will be on view at 1500 Gallery. The six photographs in the exhibition are part of a personal artistic project that Cals, a well-known fashion/advertising photographer based in São Paulo, Brazil, has been working on since 2008.
The photographs in the Horizons series are suggestive of something beyond the record presented. The images of the buildings in São Paulo, Tokyo and Buenos Aires explore the limits of two-dimensionality, and articulate a radically different perspective on a commonplace visual scenario. In expressing this fresh point of view, Bruno Cals has invoked contrasting themes of possibility versus impossibility, presence versus emptiness, and search versus satisfaction.
Horizons, by Bruno Cals, May 6-July 31, 1500 Gallery, New York
Wired magazine has published images of Antarctic research bases. Engineered for long-term habitation in the most extreme conditions, many are built on stilts, so they don’t get buried in the snow. If there were more bases, it would make for an interesting typology, like Canada’s disappearing Wheat Kings.
Photography: Antarctic Research Bases, via: Wired Magazine
While you slept, we revolutionized the world. When she was imprisoned in your bunker, we changed the music…
While You Slept, Photography by Stefan Tobler & Holger Schilling
Advertising photographer Cédric Delsaux has finished his series on combining two worlds: Star Wars and earth.
Dark Lens Series by Cédric Delsaux, via: Amusement
Kim Høltermand (born 1977) is a Danish architectural photographer who also works as a fingerprints expert in The Crime Scene Unit of The Danish National Police when he’s not out taking moody epic photos of modern architecture. The 32-year-old has become well known in the field of architectural photography, being featured in endless amounts of blogs and international magazines such as Baumeister, DWELL, D-Mode, GRAFIK, Euroman, Politiken, C-Heads Magazine, etc.
“After several trips to different parts of the river, it became clear that what I was responding to and how I felt whilst being in china was permeating into my pictures; a formalness and unease, a country that feels both at the beginning of a new era and at odds with itself. China is a nation that appears to be severing its roots by destroying its past in the wake of the sheer force of its moving “forward” at such an astounding and unnatural pace. A people scarring their country and a country scarring its people.”
- Nadav Kander
Yangtze, The Long River, by Nadav Kander
Vincent Fournier’s images reflect his fascination for the space age through an archive of the most significant space complexes from all over the world including, The Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre of the Russian Federation, the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, the Guiana Space Centre, the Atacama Desert Observatories in Chile, among others. From the global village to the space odyssey and more recently the underworld project, his photographs are allegories and criticism for our dream of a science fiction utopia.
Photography by Vincent Fournier