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Urban Rhetorics

Work in Progress

I started to photograph skyscrapers during a residency in Chicago, where I also had the possibility to study early steel-framed, high-rise buildings.

In my previous city projects I climbed on observation decks on top of skyscrapers to capture the city from above looking down seeing everything in the distance from a birdís eyes view.

On my walking tours along the Loop in Chicago, I started to have a closer look at skyscrapers and objects/streets around them and to investigate the buildings and details with my camera.

I also studied the buildings of the 20th century and their technological innovations that borrowed from the historic architectural proportions and forms of less is more. (Mies van der Rohe)

Then I went on walking tours through Manhattan, my points of interest were the freestanding high raisers over 150 metres. I walked from my Chelsea studio to Battery Park and Central Manhattan passing by icons like the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building and down to Wall Street.

Skyscrapers are symbols for menís engineering mastery, international trade and capital markets, symbols of power.

I donít want to glorify these values, I rather see them critical and ironic.

As a metapher I combine some of the photographs with pictures of my teeth, done by a Chicago dentist.

In my new work Urban Rhetoricís I changed perspective from my previous works by walking through the streets of the city looking and photographing upward.

I think skyscrapers give a city itís distinctive character and itís identity. I try to investigate the high raiser as a physical and cultural construct.

I am also interested in capturing the physical space in between the skyscrapers asking how forms and structures respond with each other, and how patterns, created between skyscrapers, influence the individual and the environment.

I intend to continue my investigations on skyscrapers first in the downtown area of London and then back in New York in May and June 2009.

 

New York 1

New York 1