“Melancholy is the … feeling of distance that separates us from a potential simple world.”

Today I went to “Constructing Worlds”, an exhibition at the Barbican. There’s still a week left of the exhibition, and if you live in London, you should go. Barbican exhibitions are generally a good bet, but I usually have a niggling criticism – some of them are too heavy or too light, but I thought that this one got a great balance.

The subject of this post is taken from this Frieze Magazine article about one of the artists whose work was exhibited at the Barbican, Luigi Ghirri. (One of his images from the exhibition – actually my favorite – is here, where you can see other photos from the exhibition as well.) There is something about his style and technique that really grabbed me. He is not, seemingly, widely written about on the internet – or anyway his Wikipedia page is quite short. But I fell in love with him. I think we have a special bond.

There were so many fantastic photographers, and I took away a small treasure from each of the rooms about them, so I won’t go on about that today. Such arresting photographs with such different style, but all fascinated and interested in photographing space.

I love photography of people, but this exhibition really spoke to how I tend to take take photographs. That is not to say that I should be included in the exhibition – but it just made me realise that there is clearly this history of photography of cities and and spaces and environments at weird angles, or with different view points. I take vacant pictures, with no people in them, that somehow don’t work that well on Facebook sometimes. Now I can say that I am fitting into some kind of a movement or a period or a style of photographing the contemporary urban environment. Probably this comes from leaving Texas (a certain strange architectural and spacial environment – vast and vacant) to go to Poland, Siberia and Central Asia (another strange architectural environment – with their colossal postwar buildings and Soviet ruins). Perhaps my photography style would be less melancholy if I’d started traveling in Europe. Although, looking at that Ghirri quote, maybe not.

So I will leave you with some of my own “architectural photography” from the last few months, none of which is very good and all of which is taken with an iPhone in a sly, surreptitious or fast manner. I would always edit photos like this out of Facebook posts, but I post these now in a sloppy tribute to my new artistic love interests like Walker Evans (you can watch a cool YouTube video about him here) and Luigi Ghirri.

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