In this series of pictures, the two photographers – father and son – present Shanghai between fiction and reality as the ‘city of tomorrow’. The focal point of their photographic work is the architecture of the city’s streets, a critical investigation and analysis encompassing the subject of urban landscape. In a long-term project begun in November 2002, they have been documenting the metropolis Shanghai as an urban composition, a man-made architectural living space and enviroment of unprecedented and unimaginably gigantic dimensions. The resulting images are of immense visual beauty.
Megalopolis Shanghai, by Horst and Daniel Zielske
Influenced by fine art and conceptualism, Giles Revell’s work is an ongoing exploration of the possibilities of graphic, ideas-based imagery and the different ways in which photographic images can imply form, surface or texture via the simplest means.
Insects, Giles Revell
Josef Schulz is a “photographer” of modern warehouses and factories – trite industrial buildings that nobody would want to consider to be of any major architectural interest. All over the world these buildings are mass-produced, built for all kinds of industrial production processes using identical plans and blueprints. Their exteriors offer no hint whatsoever of the specific purposes for which they are used, their façades vary only in terms of the materials selected – all of them pre-fabricated, such as slabs of concrete, corrugated sheet metal and other cheap building materials.
- Thomas Ruff
Photography, by Josef Schulz
Tim Simmons’s carefully composed photographs of places as far flung as Scotland and Los Angeles are sometimes described as “uncanny”. Freud theorised the uncanny as “everything… that ought to have remained secret and hidden but has come to light.” He listed shadows, mirrors and doppelgangers of all sorts as examples of uncanny phenomena. As a type of double, photographs possess an uncanny quality in resembling – yet refusing to embody – familiar things. The subject matter and mode of representation of Simmons’s unsettling images are uncertain: nature seems estranged and unfamiliar, while the images obstinately refuse to declare their ontology or true nature.
Simmons documents nature, or rather “humanature” to use a neologism coined by the photographer Peter Goin. Goin uses it to describe a hybrid terrain of natural and man-made features such as artificial lights, plantations, landscape design and so on. Sitings of such altered landscapes began to emerge after the second world war with the coming of new suburbs, expressways, theme parks and airports. The critic Robert A. Sobieszek noted that between 1956 and 1979, the year of Tarkovski’s film, “Stalker”, “new order of landscape had taken hold of the imagination”, that was foreshadowed by T.S. Eliot. His “fabled wasteland had completely displaced sylvan pastorals and Edenic backdrop.”
- From the Catalogue Essay by David Brittain
Exhibition: Nature and Nation, Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, 2009, by Tim Simmons
Built in apprehension of the enemy that never came, Alex Fradkin has photographed the architecture of war along the coastal landscape of the San Francisco Bay area. The earliest bunkers date from the Mexican–American War all the way up to the Cold War. A personal photographic project which took Fradkin eight years to complete will be published by Chronicle Books in the Fall of 2009.
Bunkers: Ruins of War in a New American Landscape, by Alex Fradkin
“usually I tend to photograph quiet scenes that are empty and have a feeling of solitude. The surreal part that comes through is usually more because of anachronisms, or maybe something is just out of place. It’s not straightforward surrealism. Reality usually tends to be far stranger than fiction.”
- Baldomero Fernandez
Lewis Morley became world-famous in 1963 when he took what is considered by many to be one of the photographic icons of the period, his classic portrait of Christine Keeler. Then at the height of her fifteen minutes of fame as one of the protagonists of the infamous Profumo Affair. In 1963 a major political scandal developed in Britain due to model and call-girl Christine Keeler’s affairs with John Profumo, the Conservative Party’s Minister of War, and a Soviet naval attaché. The ensuing controversy was possibly even responsible for the downfall of the ‘Tory’ Party at the following election.
Morley photographed Ms Keeler sitting naked astride a knock-off of an Arne Jacobsen chair (sold by Habitat), her torso tantalizingly concealed by her arms and the back of the chair.
“It was the very last shot on the roll. I was walking away and turned back. She was in a perfect position and I just snapped it. I never found her sexy, though. She reminded me too much of Vera Lynn!”
“9038 Wonderland Park Avenue, Los Angeles, 1958. Case Study House No. 21.” Architect: Pierre Koenig.
“Recreation Pavilion. Mirman Residence, Arcadia, California, 1959. Architects: Buff, Straub & Hensman.”
Cocktail hour at the Spencer residence in Santa Monica. 1950.Architect: Richard Spence (Note the mirror-view television sunken into the table).
A resident of Los Angeles since 1920, Julius Shulman has been documenting modernist architecture in Southern California and across the globe for nearly eight decades. His images of Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House No. 22 (1960) in Los Angeles and Richard J. Neutra’s Kaufmann House (1947) in Palm Springs are among the most recognizable and iconic architectural photographs of the 20th century.