Building Pictures

The work of Landon and Clemence is a natural fit for the theme of this year’s Biennale— Fundamentals, directed by Rem Koolhaas. In their book, they look so closely at the processes of architectural perceptions that the object itself nearly disappears, but only to make way for new kinds of poetic structures, both in words and images. They will be joined by two distinguished architects, Jean-Pierre Pranslas-Descours and Martino Pietropoli, in a panel discussion to be moderated by renowned architectural critic Fred Bernstein.

Works by Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and other modern and contemporary masters are the inspiration for the pioneering new book Here/After: Structures in Time, by award-winning photographer Paul Clemence and architectural writer Robert Landon. At once theoretical and poetic, Here/After combines strikingly original images and genre- bending essays to investigate the phenomenology of architecture—in particular, architecture’s invisible fourth dimension: Time.

Paul Clemence’s photography and Robert Landon’s essays remind us of the essential relationship between architecture, photography and time,” writes architect, critic and former MoMA curator Terence Riley in the book’s introduction. “Buildings may be static, but our experience of them never is,” adds Landon. “They are subject to perpetual flux as our eyes move through three dimensions.” With his uncanny eye, Clemence captures exactly this experience of moving through buildings—capturing not just three dimensions in two, but four. “His images don’t merely illustrate architecture but engender a living encounter—an encounter always deeply embedded in time,” writes Landon.

The 38 black & white and color photographs in ‘Here/After: Structures in Time’ grow out of Clemence’s restless search for new architectural encounters, which have taken him from Rio de Janeiro to New York, from Barcelona to Cologne. In the process he has photographed some of the world’s most celebrated buildings, including: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum; Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao; Zaha Hadid’s Broad Museum; Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion; and Oscar Niemeyer’s Casa das Canoas. The book also features works by Marcel Breuer, I.M. Pei, Studio Glavovic, and Jean Nouvel.

However, Clemence never limits his lens to starchitects. As Here/After: Structures in Time reveals, his camera discovers hidden beauty in unexpected places—an anonymous back alley, a construction site, even a graveyard. In response to Clemence’s photos, Landon’s lyrical essays mine the same territory: that knotty borderland between reality, perception and representation.

The exclusive preview limited edition is printed on beautiful Mohauk eggshell paper in New York City, where the book was conceived, written and designed.


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Giulio Minoletti