Before quarantine, I began working on a project titled ‘Bunker’, the objective of which to focus primarily on post-war and Brutalist architecture, and utilising a more photographic approach to offer a more grounded aesthetic. I intend to focus on building this aesthetic in contrast from previous work, still utilising my visual statement of "minimalism enabling clarity", however deployed in a slightly reconfigured way. In this post, I will discuss the ways in which the process has changed, and the objective of the series itself.
Besides the obvious change in architectural genre, the work aims to distance itself from my ‘Structures’ project in several ways. Firstly, the approach to composition is altered in such a way that emulates the realism of the camera. While the process I use separates itself from photography in many ways, I wanted to keep the series grounded both in reference to composition, as well as the formal integrity of the architecture itself, choosing not to manipulate the structure physically, and rather opting for a less intrusive approach, removing unwanted aspects via a reduction of luminosity, instead of cutting them away. The objective of this criteria is to enable the artistic integrity of the architecture to lead, while allowing the treatment process to emphasise this.
While the large bulk of the work is to be made in London, a portion will be produced abroad in order to satisfy the addition volume I am hoping to deliver. A series of roughly 20 images should be plenty to display a varied and diverse array of architecture.
The series will continue to communicate my visual statement, delivering a heightened perception of clarity through a minimalist approach, however this process will be shifted from the central focus of the work, now functioning as a tool rather than a facilitator to achieve the objectives set out in paragraphs two and three
The name of the series is catalysed by the attributes of the bunker and their overlap into architecture that was erected after the WWII. The bunker is resilient, built from cheap, resistant material, its function is to protect. Stationary as the world revolves around it, the bunker is unmoving, a constant that remains unchanged, much like the architectural focus of this series, indicative of the name the series will fall under.
Statement of Intent
So very commonplace are these aesthetically redundant structures, that their visual identity is often entirely replaced by core function. Such a way of seeing grants visibility only to examples that break these traditions. A retrospective analysis shows us that the basic objectives of purpose driven architecture are much the same as they are now, and yet our desire to pay attention to them is shrouded by more modern, attribute driven structures, the aesthetic function of which assigned as a priority.
‘Bunker’ applies a minimalist visuality to post war/brutalist style architecture, enabling a clarity that eliminates interference. The product is a perspective that resembles a form of lucidity - a reconfigured structure, cast directly from my own individual perspective. The series grants access to a mode of seeing otherwise hidden, a form of lucidity, the nature of which bypasses the parameters of traditional photography.
Going forward, I hope to document the development of the work, and offer a view into my thought process for all stages of the project. Assembling the series on this platform is valuable for my ability to work in a way that enables me to manipulate the direction of the project as is required. My intention is to have all imagery shot by late October, with the remaining months of the year spent working on processing, sequencing, refinement of selection, and composition of a final panel. This will then enable me to distribute the portfolio through galleries for early 2021.