Architecture + Photography II Iwan Baan / Jan Bitter / Hertha Hurnaus
The second show in the Architecture+Photography series juxtaposes once again the positions of three contemporary photographers whose focus is on architecture and the city. Whereas classical architecture photography mainly places the building as an autonomous object in the center, this exhibition focuses on the negotiation of image concepts that go further. The selected photographers direct their gaze on the urban or landscape context, the use of buildings, as well as moments of their realization. Though the projects are staged as aesthetic incidents, the photographs exhibited also recount in particular the daily life that goes on within. They thus become reflections of the photographers’ own perception and simultaneously bridge the gap between applied and fine art.
Iwan Baan works with some of the world’s most influential contemporary architects like Herzog de Meuron, Rem Koolhaas and SANAA. At the same time he initiates his independent projects of the informal and uncelebrated, such as post-Soviet Union cities, or slums in Caracas, which demonstrate phenomena of urban life. One example is the project Brasilia – Chandigarh, also shown in the exhibition. It demonstrates how unpretentiously and pragmatically users appropriate these urban and architectonic icons and turn them into their own areas for social interaction. Similar to his applied photography, architecture moves ostensibly into the background. As a result, its meaning is not reduced, but subject to an extended point of view.
Berlin photographer Jan Bitter counts amongst the most well-known German architecture photographers. His clients include Wiel Arets, Daniel Libeskind and Sauerbruch Hutton, among others. In his work, he tries to represent architecture so that the most realistic image possible is communicated to the viewer. During site visits, he also extensively documents the process of development and those moments in which the building is prepared for use. For the exhibition, the photographer arranged image pairs, combining motifs from various projects, thus illustrating the area of tension of this intermediate state. The resulting collages produce new relationships and invite scrutiny and inspection.
Hertha Hurnaus works for some of the most important architects in Austria (AllesWirdGut, Delugan Meissl, Querkraft). She presents yet another approach that is informed by the pursuit of her own projects as well as by work for clients from other genres, among other factors. In the gallery a selection of photographs, created for a book on the Architecture Prize of the Province of Styria 2010, is on exhibit. The projects were portrayed primarily in their (predominantly landscape) context and as functioning buildings. Object and context are thus perceived as a unit. Concentration on this structural information is further supported by black and white photography’s own reduction.