The Photographer in the Hall of Mirrors

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This is an extract of an long essay on the work of photographer Nicolas Grospierre. It will appear in a book surveying his practice that will be published in 2013. ♦ … Unlike painters or sculptors, architects do not work directly on their creations. They rely on drawing and occasionally model-making to act as a … Continue reading

An Essay on Decay

Studio Formafantasma, 'Botanica'

This article appeared in the first issue of Disegno in 2011. ♦ Earlier this year the mummified body of a Hollywood actress was found in a dilapidated Beverley Hills villa. Yvette Vickers had made a career in the movies by playing pneumatic blonds in b-movies like ‘Attack of the Giant Leaches’ and ‘Attack of the … Continue reading

Love Among the Ruins

Kanal poster

In autumn 2008 Kobas Laksa and Nicolas Grospierre invited visitors to the Venice Architecture Biennale to stay at the Hotel Polonia. The national pavilion in the Giardini had been turned into a cavernous bedroom decorated with architectural reveries. Brilliant back-lit photographs by the two artists mapped a series of new dream worlds constructed in Poland … Continue reading

Life in the Shadow of Monuments: Philippe Chancel’s North Korea

Opening of Paris-Photo, digital photographs by Phillipe Chancel, gallerie Anne de Villepoix by Colodio (flickr/Creative Commons license)

I wrote this piece for the Photographers’ Gallery in London a few years ago. Philippe Chancel’s images of North Korea can be seen here.

Socialist recreation? Amateur film and photography in the People’s Republic of Poland and East Germany

Amator Film Competition poster, Poland, 1973

This piece was published in a book which is very difficult to find, so I have posted my contribution below.