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DOI 10.12887/27-2014-3-107-16

Marcin LACHOWSKI – Jeff Wall and Andreas Gursky: Photographic Interpretations of Modern Architecture, as seen in the Light of the Theory of Space and Place

Cena brutto: 7,00 PLN

The article comprises an analysis of two photographs: Jeff Wall’s Morning Cleaning (1999) and Andreas Gursky’s Paris, Montparnasse (1993). The scrutiny of the images is inspired by the categories of space and place as described in the 20th century theories of architecture. The photographs in question present well known examples of modernist architecture, namely, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s pavilion for the International Exhibition of 1929 in Barcelona and the residential building Maine-Montparnasse II in Paris, designed by Jean Dubuisson and built between 1959 and 1964. Neither of the photographs is a direct registration: in both cases, we are dealing with staged photography involving neat digital processing of the details.

The article refers to various conceptions (from Le Corbusier’s to Kenneth Frampton’s) that capture architecture in its relation to ‘space’ and ‘place,’ and the interpretations of the photographs in question are developed in the light of these categories. The juxtaposition of the images of modernist architecture and contemporary photographic conventions enables a reading of the particular meanings inherent in both images. In the case of the Morning Cleaning the photographic frame captures a composition which is elaborated on in detail and reveals a phenomenological, ‘embodied gaze’ of the photographer. In the case of Paris, Montparnasse, the photographic frame, owing to the mastery of its composition, expresses a reflection on the global dimension of imaging and the ‘endlessness of space.’ The article demonstrates the ways in which modern photography seeks a visual equivalent of the anthropological consideration of the nature of ‘space’ and ‘place.’

Translated by Dorota Chabrajska

Keywords: Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky, Le Corbusier, Kenneth Frampton, phenomenology of space, category of place, theory of architecture, Martin Heidegger

Contact: Zakład Historii Sztuki i Kultury Nowoczesnej, Instytut Historii Sztuki,
Wydział Historyczny, Uniwersytet Warszawski,
Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28,
00-927 Warsaw, Poland

E-mail: mw.lachowski@uw.edu.pl

Pliki do pobrania:

» Lachowski.pdf

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 20.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887