Camera Constructs : Photography, Architecture and the Modern City book cover
1st Edition

Camera Constructs
Photography, Architecture and the Modern City

ISBN 9781472445384
Published September 30, 2014 by Routledge
400 Pages

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Book Description

Photography and architecture have a uniquely powerful resonance - architectural form provides the camera with the subject for some of its most compelling imagery, while photography profoundly influences how architecture is represented, imagined and produced. Camera Constructs is the first book to reflect critically on the varied interactions of the different practices by which photographers, artists, architects, theorists and historians engage with the relationship of the camera to architecture, the city and the evolution of Modernism. The title thus on the one hand opposes the medium of photography and the materiality of construction - but on the other can be read as saying that the camera invariably constructs what it depicts: the photograph is not a simple representation of an external reality, but constructs its own meanings and reconstructs its subjects. Twenty-three essays by a wide range of historians and theorists are grouped under the themes of ’Modernism and the Published Photograph’, ’Architecture and the City Re-imagined’, ’Interpretative Constructs’ and ’Photography in Design Practices.’ They are preceded by an Introduction that comprehensively outlines the subject and elaborates on the diverse historical and theoretical contexts of the authors’ approaches. Camera Constructs provides a rich and highly original analysis of the relationship of photography to built form from the early modern period to the present day.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction: architectural and photographic constructs, Andrew Higgott and Timothy Wray. Section I Modernism and the Published Photograph: Frank Yerbury and the representation of the new, Andrew Higgott; Le Corbusier and the representational function of photography, Andrzej Piotrowski; The photo-dependent, the photogenic and the unphotographable: how our understanding of the modern movement has been conditioned by photography, Peter Blundell Jones; 'At home' with the Eameses, Rachel Stevenson; Private vistas and a shared ideal: photography, lifestyle and the West German bungalow, Carola Ebert; A covert critique of the architectural photograph: the editorial practice of Andrew Mead, Robin Wilson. Section II Architecture and the City Re-Imagined: Haunted halls of mirrors: photography and the phenomenology of emotional space, Timothy Wray; Photography and the subject of architecture, Edward Whittaker; 'The synoptic view': aerial photographs and twentieth-century planning, Tanis Hinchcliffe; Negotiating the city through Google Street View, Ben Campkin and Rebecca Ross; Transforming ideas into pictures: model photography and modern architecture, Davide Deriu; Worlds collide: reality to model to reality, Mark Morris. Section III Interpretative Constructs: Our man in Havana: Walker Evans' photographs for The Crime of Cuba, Mary N. Woods; Leafing through Los Angeles: Edward Ruscha's photographic books, Steven Jacobs; Looking for the affect of history in the photographic work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, Ian Wiblin; Order out of chaos: Josef Koudelka's photographic constructs, Timothy Wray; Slow spaces, William Firebrace. Section IV Photography in Design Practices: Material immateriality: Moholy-Nagy's search for space, Ivana Wingham; Framing the view: the real and the imaginary in photographic depictions of the architectural work of Mies van der Rohe and Eileen Gray, Rosamund Diamond; Memorability as image: the New Brutalism and photography, Andrew Higgott; In defence of pictorial space: stereoscopic photography and architecture in the nineteenth century, Richard Difford; Stereoscopy and the architecture of visual space, Penelope Haralambidou; Photography as an agent of architectural proposition and provocation, Nat Chard. Index.

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Andrew Higgott, the University of East London, UK. Timothy Wray is an architect, photographer and writer based in Berlin.


'The interrelationship between photographic practices, architecture and the design process is of long standing, and the literature in this area continues to bring new and exciting modes of interpretation. Camera Constructs is a cleverly conceived volume which makes an alert contribution through a carefully articulated and keenly focused study which opens up further debates in this fertile terrain. Expertly edited by Higgott and Wray, Camera Constructs brings together the salient themes associated with visualizing the city through the means of photography and the lens of Modernism. This study will be of real value both as an undergraduate text and to scholars working in this fascinating interdisciplinary crossroads.' Alan Marcus, University of Aberdeen, UK

'An astonishing collection that puts new life into the whole question of architecture's relation to photography. Encyclopaedic in range and approach, these inspiring essays, many by young and emerging scholars, set off all sorts of thoughts about the multiple representations of space and time in these two media.' Adrian Forty, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UK

'Camera Constructs is a brim-full compendium packed with a rich variety of relational investigations into photography, architecture, and urban space.' CAA Reviews

'This volume offers an expansive range of conceptions of architectural practice - from the imagined spaces of the unconscious, to the pristine spaces of modern architecture, to the virtual fields of Google maps. The range testifies to the commanding influence that photography has had on architecture. Much more than a tool of reproduction, photography has allowed the field of architecture to redefine itself in compelling ways.' History of Photography

'But, as noted, the divisions between still and moving image are fading, and although Camera Constructs is a detailed and engaging anthology, with its gaze trained firmly on the history and role of the still image in architecture, it is a book that feels like a historical full-stop'. LSE Review of Books