Impossible Cities

Impossible Cities

Melbourne-based photographer Tom Blachford (b. 1987) returns with Centro Verso. The series turns the city into an impossible dystopia. Neon-bathed buildings are aglow with purple and blue light, stacking upon one another to create an endless, surreal metropolis. It plays with the nature of reality – using photography to bridge boundaries between realms.

Each composition presents a layered dreamworld. The collage-like scenes appear to contain multiple elements – playgrounds composed of complex geometric forms. In reality, the works are all single exposures. Blachford took the images from a Central Business District rooftop 57 floors high. The combination of a long lens, extended exposure times and rotation has resulted in logic-defying images.

The Escher-inspired works play with perception, immersing the viewer in paradoxical engineering. “I am fascinated by how one simple tweak can completely short-circuit our brains’ ability to perceive depth, perspective and time,” Blachford explains. Five 3D-printed sculptures accompany the series – offering a physical manifestation of these otherworldly realms.

The body of work demonstrates an ongoing interest in nocturnal photography. Midnight Modern (2016), featured in Aesthetica Issue 73, depicts classic mid-century buildings cast under a stylised nightfall.

The series is on view at Backwoods Gallery, Collingwood, from 22 November – 8 December. Find out more here.

Images from Centro Verso, courtesy Tom Blachford.