Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Mirroring the metropolis

The world we’ve created for ourselves consists of cities in a state of constant flux. Buildings, streets - in fact, whole communities are monitored by 24 hour CCTV. Yet we still choose to live together, as a group, in places with towering buildings…and lots of other people around us.

Our ongoing love of the city is demonstrated in the recent resurgence of Art Deco-style, skyscraper inspired design. Read more about this, and the impact of the all-seeing eye of Big Brother upon the world of art and design, in ShopCurious's latest Curious Trends posts.

Meantime, here’s some information on a forthcoming photographic exhibition that also draws inspiration from the metropolis: Diemar/Noble Photography’s Land/City/Real/Imagined is a curated selection of work by leading photographers, with the city as its theme. Running from 25th August until 1st October, the show is divided into two sections ‘land’ and ‘city’, it even includes NASA photographs of the surface of the moon.

One of the more classic shots on display is Berenice Abbott’s 1936 portrait of the 'Irving Trust Building, 1 Wall Street' (left).

Also included is an awe-inspiring image by British photographer, George Rodger. Taken on the 102nd floor of New York’s Empire State Building in 1950, this coolly conveys the excitement of looking out over the great metropolis.

Colombian born, London based photographer, Manuel Vazques captures the surreality of our surveillance society in works from his ‘Traces’ project (see top right), carried out at Atocha railway station in Madrid, scene of the 2004 terrorist attacks.

Vazques' images bring to our awareness the curious paradox of public space, where anonymity and scrutiny co-exist. In a society full of prying eyes, we have the ability to be both spectator and actor…

Are you?


Style Porn said...

Although there is something so cold and impersonal about mammoth skyscrapers, I've always found them to be oddly comforting. Maybe it's the feeling of anonymity you get when you look up at the highest buildings. A feeling like, thank god, I am so small.

No city (that I've been to anyway) quite feels as huge and sprawling as Chicago. I went to the top of the Sears tower and was floored by how FAR the city went in every direction. It looked like it would never end! Even NYC isn't like that. It's concentrated in a small space.

Profoundly Superficial said...

Julian Schulman is also worth checking out for his building photographs.

Susan said...

Have not yet scaled the heights of the Sears Tower, SP - something for the 'to do' list... and thanks Annie for flagging up Schulman, found this link to a previous exhibition.