Delve into the Aesthetica archives and discover bold photographs of our cities. These bright, geometric images encourage us to look at architecture in a new way – from Michael Wolf’s metropolis to icons of 20th century modernism.
Laurent Kronental documents the lives of residents in the Grands Ensembles, the distinctive housing projects around Paris. The series, Souvenir d’un Futur, references the original hope invested in these monuments of an imagined social utopia, erected between the 1950s and 1980s to address the city’s housing crisis. Initially drawn to the Modernist character of the buildings, the citizens within provided Kronental with his real impetus: an examination of personal histories.
In 2014, Turkish-born Yener Torun (b. 1982) began an Instagram account (@cimkedi) focusing on the lesser-known buildings and side-streets of Istanbul. The images capture colour-blocked high rises, apartment blocks and resort complexes. Torun’s expansive portfolio, acclaimed for its clean-cut shadows and forms, has been recognised by publications including The Guardian, The Washington Post and CBS News.
Michelle Cho (b. 1992) & June Kim’s (b. 1990) collaborative series are inspired by vivid and structurally expansive architecture. Using photography and digital manipulation, the duo conjure a visual relationship with the self and its multiple identities – transfixed amongst anonymous and almost desolate sets. Performativity plays a significant role within the images; the characters turn away from each other and embrace the walls of the structures.
Anna Di Prospero (b. 1987) studied photography at the The Istituto Europeo di Design, Rome, and at the School of Visual Arts, New York, where she became interested in the relationship between humanity and the environment. The Urban self-portrait series combines architecture with performance. Bold shapes and primary colours are a consistent feature, with the angles of contemporary cities meeting bodies.
German photographer Michael Wolf (1954-2019) documented and marveled at the vernacular culture of the modern metropolis. Architecture of Density is a sprawling collection of colossal structures that can be found in Hong Kong. Charting the excessive repetition of rooms and blank windows, the photographs turn housing into a world of abstraction. Through cropping, he presents a different perspective of architecture. Cities can continue to move in our imaginations as we attempt to visualise their size.