References for conference presentation Berlin 30th October 2014
Derek Trillo MA ARPS
‘[architectural photography]…the craven image, a lifeless piece of flattering deception foisted on an unsuspecting public by an unholy alliance of architect, photographer and art editor’ (Elwall 1991 quoting Tom Picton, p 63)
Reference to Tom Gunning’s ongoing dialogue with the ‘truth claim’ of photography:
To represent “truth”, it must resemble the object it represents, which is not an inevitable characteristic of an index. (Gunning 2004)
”…photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again,” (Bourdieu 1996, p 136, paraphrasing Henri Cartier-Bresson)
‘…in order to catch another layer of reality and not to render the real idealistic.’ (Meireis 2012).
Yesterday I submitted a proposal for a paper on the mediation of Architecture by photography for the Space and Place: Exploring Critical Issues conference at Oxford University in September:
The great architectural swindle: The mediation of architecture via architectural photography.
In 1979 Tom Picton dismissed the contemporary architectural photograph as,
‘…the craven image, a lifeless piece of flattering deception foisted on an unsuspecting public by an unholy alliance of architect, photographer and art editor’ (Elwall 1991).
Thirty-five years later little has altered: buildings are routinely represented as lifeless, pristine sculptures; forms without functions; structures in isolation from neighbouring buildings and the spaces in between. Architecture is seen through photography, in a stifled form, thereby failing its audience. This paper challenges the convention that architecture should be mediated through photography as empty shells.