Wolfgang Tillmans’ Book for Architects

Wolfgang Tillmans’ Book for Architects

Ten years, 37 countries in five continents, 450 pictures. Shown for the first time since its premiere at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, Tillmans’ Book for Architects shows us the patterns of homogeneity in contemporary global architecture. Free from the discourse of individual significance, photographs of each building play off each other, making rhythm out of repetition.

The 450 photographs are shown in a two-channel 4K video projection, onto perpendicular walls, with a bench for seating. Tillmans has installed Book for Architects in a manner that places the viewer in the fold of a social experience. Although we now walk around with digital tablets, or smartphones,  containing our reading material, books were initially mobile: tablets with wax that people scribbled and tallied on. Because of their natural stickiness, papyrus leaves became the precedent form for the printed book as we know it today. Book for Architects gives us the book form we know so well but installed to be experienced large scale and not handheld, as a private act of consumption. The relaxed informal setting can be used to sit, lie down, recline while photographs flip through their order.

 

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Where as the photographic slideshows has one coordinate for fidelity—the image—Book for Architects as an installation has a different priority: that of space, edges, and the shapes that cut through the expanse of skylines. The cinema traditionally also relies a single coordinate for final presentation: the flat horizontal surface onto which the image is delivered. With Book for Architects, Tillmans takes two perpendicular walls and changes the scale of the book experience, making it social and public: themes present in each photograph and often contested in architecture.  Tillmans places viewers in the very middle of that conversation, using space and scale to show us the commodified structure of many spaces, and many scales.

 

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All images: Wolfgang Tillmans, Book for Architects, 2014. Two channel video installation. Book for Architects installed as part of the 14th International Architecture Biennale: Elements of Architecture at the Central Pavilion, Giardini, Venice, 2014. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York, Maureen Paley, London, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris, Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin.

 

Wolfgang Tillmans, Book for Architects
Metropolitan Museum of Art
January 26–November 1, 2015

Summer Seeing: 10 Must-See Photos in July

Summer Seeing: 10 Must-See Photos in July

This summer I am joining Baxter St at CCNY to present a monthly list of not-to-be missed photographs in New York City. That’s right: photographs, not shows. As photography continues reaching across social, aesthetic, and political arenas,  it’s increasingly possible (and most enjoyable!) to encounter disarmingly excellent photographs in situations having nothing to do with photography as a theme. Experiencing a photograph next to a painting, an audacious distant cousin (such as a heliograph), a sculpture, or even within much-debated sets of social obligation (journalism)—each of these scenarios expands the conversation around how photography functions in specific contexts, both inside and outside gallery spaces.

This month’s list features photographs currently on view until the end of the month in the Bowery, Soho, Chelsea, the upper east side, and two significant shows in the Bronx within close distance of each other.

Enjoy the first of three installments this summer!

 

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Jeff Whetstone, Banff Sun Spot, 2015. Pigment print.
Currently showing in the group show “Photography Sees the Surface” at Higher Pictures Gallery.
Closing August 7

 

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Linda Connor, August 16 1895, 1996. Gold toned printing out paper from original glass plate negative.
Currently showing in the group show “Photography Sees the Surface” at Higher Pictures Gallery.
Closing August 7

Also of interest in this show is a beautiful 1899 heliogravure of the moon’s surface, by Loewy and Puiseux.

 

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Sarah Sieradzki, Untitled (Arrangement #08), 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Jackie Klempay.
Currently showing in “Space and Matter” at Sperone Westwater.
Closing July 31

A young emerging artist living in Brooklyn, Sieradzki’s photograph is too delightful to avoid, try and peel yourself away.

 

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Burk Uzzle, Dead Bird in Mirror, Florida, ca. 1975. Vintage gelatin silver, printed ca. 1975. Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, New York.
Currently shown in “Burk Uzzle: American Puzzles” at Steven Kasher Gallery.
Closing July 31

Uzzle’s solo show is filled with the found geometries and blunt spatial engagements that street photography renders so well.

 

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Maximo Colon, Untitled, c. 1970. Digital print.

Currently showing in the group show “¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York” at Bronx Museum of the Arts, one of three Bronx venues focusing on different aspects of the movement’s history.
Closing October 15, 2015

Although this exhibition is up until October of this year, you should see it immediately, and make time to see the rotating films. “The Young Lords had a defining influence on social activism, art, and identity politics, but the lasting significance of their achievements has rarely been examined,” said The Bronx Museum’s Executive Director Holly Block.

 

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Giovanni Troilo, Gharleroi, Belgium, 2014.

Currently showing in “Altered Images: 150 Years of Posed and Manipulated Documentary Photography” at the Bronx Documentary Center.
Closing August 2

Part of a series titled “The Dark Heart of Europe” this staged image of a couple having car sex (the photographer’s cousin and his girlfriend) won the 2015 World Press Photo Prize. Like several other images in this exhibition, the WPP rescinded the award. Shown along side a larger context of image manipulation in contexts of journalism—from Roger Fenton’s Civil War photographs, to media outlets misrepresenting the Baltimore uprisings earlier this year by using a 2014 image taken in Venezuela—this show charts the of nuanced fields of responsibility and fallibility present in, and inseparable from, the history of journalistic practice.

 

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Nobuyoshi Araki, Untitled, (Eros Diary, 2015.
Currently in “Eros Diary” at Anton Kern.
Closing August 7

A collection of 77 new black and white photographs by Nobuyoshi Araki: a diaristic engagement with the twists and turns of emotion while playing with time and time stamps.

 

 

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Derek DeWitt, Stella Rose Saint Clair, 2013.

Currently showing in the group show “Interface: Queer Artists Forming Communities Through Social Media” at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.
Closes August 2

In an amazing show of well-selected and intellectually rigorous works, DeWitt’s print of a polaroid is a refreshing surge of photography’s ability to arrest the eye, through high glamour and an economy of means. A wonderful juxtaposition with the selections at Higher Pictures right now: photographs made to highlight photography’s ability to convey surfaces. DeWitt’s image is seemingly devoid of texture, but the nuances of emulsion are exceptionally present, a red-lipped whiplash pushing and pulling at the subtle qualities of image reproduction.

 

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Toshio Shibata, Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, 2006.

Currently in the group show “Land and Sea” at Danese Corey.
Closing July 31

A stunning image made with no technical gimmick, just pure eye (much like DeWitt’s approach too).

 


JULY’S LIST

Sperone Westwater: 257 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
: 26 Wooster St, New York, NY 10013
Anton Kern: 532 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011
Danese Corey: 511 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10011
Steven Kasher: 515 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001
Higher Pictures: 980 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10075
Bronx Museum of the Arts: 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456
Bronx Documentary Center: 614 Courtlandt Ave, Bronx, NY 10451