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“A Photograph Can Appear More Real Than The Building Itself”

“Architecture is in and of itself a lens through which to see the world,” observes writer Elias Redstone in the introduction to his new book, Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography. Redstone, who co-curated the Barbican Art Gallery’s latest exhibition on architecture and photography, explores the indelible links between buildings and photos, staged or otherwise, of those buildings.

“Although mediated, a photograph can appear more real than the building itself, as it is the image consumed most widely,” he writes. “However, photography is by its nature subjective and presents a highly personalized view of the world.”


Over five chapters and through the work of 50 artists, the book examines the relationship between architect and photographer, man and landscape, imagery, and reality. The 200 stunning images range from the work of star architecture photographers like Iwan Baan to artists like Annie Leibovitz. It’s a look at not just the clean lines and perfectly captured light that are so familiar to the practice of photographing modernist architecture, but also the more complex photographic art interrogating the built environment. Many photographs reveal the ugliness of power lines, the presence of pesky tree branches that don’t appear in picture-perfect renderings, and all the clutter associated with what buildings are actually for: people.

Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography is available from Phaidon for $79.95.

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