exhibition: Constructing Worlds @ Barbican Art Gallery

It’s not often that I emerge from an exhibition completely and utterly inspired. After seeing Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age it made me realise how important it is to pursue a passion even if it doesn’t seem like the world is interested. I’ve always preferred taking photos of architecture because of the way different buildings play off one another and also because it’s easy to take a quick snap but go back if it’s really fascinating. I made a decision some time ago that the most popular photographs these days are of people so I should aim to take less boring photos of buildings and more of people. But because I am quite shy and feel strange about taking pictures of people without asking this led to a decline in my confidence to take photographs. Take less photos of buildings -> more photos of people -> too shy to take photos of strangers = not even carrying my camera everywhere anymore. But this exhibition showed me that there have been so many photographers focused on similar subjects to mine and they have become part of a history of documenting architecture. Why shouldn’t I do something I enjoy? I shouldn’t care if my photos aren’t as popular as ones with people as the subject, I need to do what I love and not worry about opinions.

This realisation (long needed!) as well as seeing so many well thought out and executed architecture photographs in this exhibition has really motivated me to get back into photography, which is silly because I love it so much I don’t know why I would stop myself.

I’ll definitely be going back to see the exhibition before is closes on 11 January, but for the time being here are some photos that I was drawn to.

Berenice Abbott, Night View, New York, 1932
Thomas Struth, Clinton Road, 1977
Walker Evans, Breakfast Room at Belle Grove Plantation, White Chapel, Louisiana, 1935
Julius Shulman, Stahl Residence, Case Study House #22 (Pierre Koenig, Los Angeles, California), 1960
Lucien Hervé, Secretariat, Chandigarh, India, 1955

Images all belong to their respective owners.


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