BJP #7828: Constructing Worlds

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“One of the first subjects to which photographers turned with relief when photography was invented was architecture,” writes Gerry Badger in September’s issue of BJP, which went on sale on 03 September. “Of course it was. Given the limitations of early cameras, it was crucial that buildings, unlike people, did not move. Or talk back, for that matter…. Ever since the 19th century, photographers and architects have had a symbiotic relationship. A surprising number of people in photography, myself included, studied architecture, or even practised it. Many leading photographers of the built environment have taught on architectural courses, such as Lewis Baltz and Guido Guidi at the celebrated architecture school in Venice. And architecture was the primary subject for both the greatest photographer, and the most important photographer of the 20th century, Eugène Atget and Walker Evans respectively.”


Much of issue #7828 is devoted to the creative interplay between the two disciplines; a celebration of photography and the built environment in response to two major new surveys coming this autumn – Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age at the Barbican Art Gallery (25 September until 11 January) in London, and Phaidon’s Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography, published towards the end of the month.

Both focus on the photography of architecture, as opposed to the discipline of architectural photography (which, according to Badger, “within the strict definition of the term, is product photography, and is actually not that interesting”), including works by Julius Schulman, whose photographs transcended their use value as architectural records, to Frederic Chaubin’s concern for the storytelling properties of a building.

We also feature Sohei Nishino, whose ‘Diorama Maps’ – made up of thousands of images of city streets and buildings – speak physically and metaphorically about the many layers of histories lived by their inhabitants. And we catch up with Herman van den Boom, whose Neighbours project focuses on a building classification that most architects would sniff at – the Belgian Double House, which might pitch classical pastiche next to the suburban moderne – but which the photographer argues is actually a symbol of tolerance: “When people with such frequently opposing taste and style manage to live together in this surreal harmony, one may see ignorance, but also a demonstration of tolerance, a surrealistic harmony.”

Elsewhere in September’s issue we talk to Philippe Jarrigeon about how he met the challenge of a potentially tricky commission – to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts, which helps emerging designers by giving out more than half a million euros in grants each year, among them talents such as Maison Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Lemaire and Anthony Vaccarello. But how to make a coherent work from these highly individual approaches to fashion, each with their own distinctive aesthetic? He found his answer in the most iconic building devoted to fashion retail in the French capital.

In our Intelligence section we report on the fate of the art buyer, finding out why so many ad agencies have done away with the role, and in doing so, have lost a vital link to photographers and creatives. And we catch up with Chris McGuigan, ex-Fallon art director and founder of one of London’s hottest photography agencies, Mini Title. Plus, in Projects, we showcase our pick of the best MA graduates in the UK and Ireland, and in technology we test two hotly anticipated cameras – the D810 (Nikon’s best DSLR yet according to our reviewer) and Sigma’s idiosyncratic DP2 Quattro.

This issue is available from the BJP shop or available to download now.

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