• Campbell, Hugh — How the mind meets architecture: what photography reveals 2012

    Chapter 14

    In this chapter, I will read closely two photographs.1This essay has benefited from extensive discussion with, and input from, Alice Clancy, an architect and photographer with whom I teach a graduate seminar on photography and architecture entitled ‘Space Framed’. See www.spaceframed.blogspot.com (accessed: 17.07.11). An earlier version was presented as a paper at the Society of Architectural Historians 64th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, 13–17 April 2011. The first is one of a series made by the German photographer Candida Höfer, of the Neues Museum in Berlin, made between the completion of its reconstruction by David Chipperfield and Julian Harrap and the installation of its permanent exhibition in 2009 (Figure 14.1). 2Although they have not yet been exhibited, an extensive selection of the photographs is published in David Chipperfi eld Architects in collaboration with Julian Harrap, Neues Museum Berlin (Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walter Köning, 2009). Like many in the series, this photograph is made with a largeformat camera. Symmetrically balanced, it centres on an octagonal space, its lofty coffered ceiling extending out of shot, with rooms extending enfilade beyond the facing opening to a distant vanishing point. The red and green hues of the room’s wall panels are vividly present, as are the decorative scenes on its recessed apses. The room is not pristine: the photograph shows evidence of extensive gaps and discontinuities in its tiled floor, and of staining and repair on its plaster coffers. The crisp, even light which pervades the image renders all these details clear and palpable. Notably, the space depicted is empty. Empty not only of humans but of the usual signs of human occupation; of furniture and equipment. It reads like a space held in suspension.

    In a second image – also a recent photograph of recent architectural project – there is a similar feeling of suspended animation, although the space here is occupied. This diptych is one of a continuing series made by Walter Niedermayr of buildings by the Japanese firm SANAA, the collaborative office of Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishisawa. 3A catalogue of the images was produced in conjunction with an exhibition at deSingel arts centre, Antwerp, 15 February – 6 June 2007: Walter Niedermayr/Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2007). Dating from 2006, it shows the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum; a building completed that year and one of the practice’s first projects outside Japan (Figure 14.2). The pair of images offers discontinuous but comparable views of the pavilion’s interior of sinuously curved glass screens loosely delineating areas of circulation and display. The views seem informal despite being organised around a strong central horizon line. Blurred figures are seen moving in front of, and behind, glass. Colours are subdued. Forms seem to float in the evanescent atmosphere.

    Reading these images, in the context of the series of which they form part, it is immediately clear that each emerges from an established and distinguished artistic practice. And, in each case, the architecture portrayed exemplifies a particular philosophy and sensibility. Already, a kind of dialogue has opened up between photographic intentions and architectural ambitions. At the same time, both pictures also clearly pay attention to the phenomenological qualities of the places they depict; they are interested in conveying what it is like to be in them. One might go a little further and suggest that they are also interested in conveying what it is like to be in these places. These photographs might best be considered as portraits of architecture.

    This denomination brings with it the implicit requirement that they not only depict what the subject is like, but also depict what it is like to be the subject. We look at portraits of people – like those by Rembrandt and Bonnard – with the expectation that the pictorial rendering of external aspects of appearance can reveal inner states of being. We want to be able to inhabit the subject from the inside out. Can we really have the same expectations for depictions of architecture? Can we suppose that architecture might be as ripe for portraiture as the self?



    Imbuing space with form, purpose and significance is central to the activity of architecture. Discerning those same properties is, in turn, critical to the meaningful experience of architecture. These properties might be regarded as integral to the very fabric of the built space, but they may also be seen as aspects of a quite separate and distinct unifying conceptual, or ‘ideational’, force. The space of the Pantheon, for instance, can be explained as a circular domed enclosure of certain dimensions and certain materials, lit centrally through an open oculus. But something more than that is communicated by the space itself: a higher organisational idea; a proposition about a spatial order which is simultaneously abstract and embodied. The physical facts of the building are the only phenomena verifiably present so the quality must derive from them, and yet it seems of a different order and type. Architecture is born of, but is ultimately distinct from, building. When Walt Whitman wrote that ‘All of architecture is what you do to it when you look upon it’, it seems he that meant something like this.4Walt Whitman, ‘Carol of Occupations’, in Leaves of Grass (1855) (Oxford: Wilder Press, 2008), p. 71. The complete passage is as follows: ‘All architecture is what you do to it when you look upon it / Did you think it was in the white or gray stone?/ or the lines of the arches and cornices?/ All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments;/ It is not the violins and the cornets/ it is not the oboe nor the beating drums/ nor the score of the baritone singer singing his sweet romanza/ nor that of the men’s chorus/ nor that of the women’s chorus/ It is nearer and farther than they’. His elaboration of this statement through musical analogy makes the meaning clearer. It is not in the mere facts of the notes, the singers and the instruments that the music resides, ‘it is something nearer and farther than they’. But he also makes clear that this quality emerges through the encounter, through the ‘look upon it’. This ‘look upon it’ can extend to encompass all forms of representation, including photography. For instance, in his wellknown photograph of the Pantheon’s interior, the German photographer Thomas Struth is interested precisely in the overlapping spatial realms of the architecture, of the viewing subject, of the camera itself – in this case, another chamber lit by a single circular aperture – and of the resulting image. Built space, and the space of conception, of perception and of appearance form a single continuous realm.

    Conscious experience is what binds this realm together. Indeed, it might be considered that, in its capacity to confer coherence and continuity upon the ‘raw data’ of experience and sensation, consciousness is entirely analogous with architecture for the way in which it gives conceptual, functional, sensory and symbolic coherence to ‘mere matter’. And just as architecture must ultimately be seen as something ‘over and above’ the physical facts of its existence, so consciousness is usually understood as something quite separate and distinct from the mass of neural activity which ultimately produces it.

    ‘All good thinking, then, can be said to aspire to the condition of architecture’, wrote Rudolph Arnheim in 1977, elaborating that ‘since all human thoughts must be worked out in the medium of perceptual space, architecture, wittingly or not, presents embodiments of thought when it invents and builds shapes.’ 5Rudolf Arnheim, The Dynamics of Architectural Form (London: University of California Press, 1977), p. 274. Arnheim refers to Freud’s drawing of the mind: ‘a translation of a system of forces into a perceptually tangible medium’. The passage comes from his idiosyncratic book The Dynamics of Architectural Form published in 1977. In fact, psychological states feature only briefly in a publication whose main purpose is to establish an equivalence between bodily dispositions and built form. In doing so, Arnheim draws on his early study of Gestalt theory with Max Wertheimer and also on the methods and insights of empathy theory. Emerging in nineteenth-century Germany, this philosophy of aesthetic reception laid emphasis on what Mitchell Schwarzer has termed ‘the consolidating perception between object and subject’. 6Mitchell Schwarzer, The Emergence of Architectural Space: August Schmarzow’s Theory of Raumgestaltung (spatial forming), Assemblage, 15, August (1991), pp. 48–61. In empathy theory, the ideas constantly forming and reforming in this active mind are explained as attempts to conceptualise the perceived world in the human image. As Heinrich Wölffllin saw it:

    Forms become meaningful to us only because we recognize in them the expression of a sentient soul. Instinctively we animate each object […] We read our own image into all phenomena. We expect everything to possess what we know to be the conditions of our own wellbeing. Not that we expect to find the appearance of a human being in the forms of inorganic nature: we interpret the physical world through the categories that we share with it. We also define the expressive capability of these other forms accordingly. They can communicate to us only what we ourselves use their qualities to express. 7Heinrich Wölffl in, Prolegomena to a Psychology of Architecture, translated and published in Harry Francis Mallgrave and Eleftherios Ikonomou (eds), Empathy, Form and Space, Problems in German Aesthetics, 1873–1983 (Santa Monica: Getty Center Publications, 1994), pp. 149–192, p. 152. The italics are in the original.

    More recently, the term empathy has enjoyed a new lease of life in the study of consciousness. Research on so-called mirror neurons, with their capacity to echo sensations and emotions being felt by others, suggests that the potential for empathy is central to the construction of the self. For Nicholas Humphrey, the existence of mirror neurons reinforces his view that consciousness evolves from the outside in rather than, as might more usually be thought, from the inside outwards. As the processing of perception begins to happen at a remove from the site of its generation (i.e. as central brains begin to evolve in organisms), there is a concomitant development away from immediate, responsive action towards reflexive perception. A gap opens between action and reaction. It is in this gap that sensation, and hence self-awareness, emerges. Where once there was only the bare capacity to react to external stimuli, there is now an added ability to be aware of and control that action. Sensation, in other words, is reaction reacted to. 8Nicholas Humphrey, Seeing Red: A Study in Consciousness (Cambridge MA: The Belknapp Press of Harvard University Press, 2006), p. 127. In evolutionary terms, the capacity of humans to receive a continuously updated report on our own condition confers clear advantages. As immediate reactions evolve into internal states of reflection, consciousness perpetuates the feeling of there being a slight distance between the organism and what happens to it. Thus, even when we are examining our own actions and mental activity, we replicate the manner in which we examine the world beyond. For Humphrey, consciousness, with its self-reflexive capacities, may be an illusion – a by-product of the perceptual process – but is a ‘deliberate trick’ rather than ‘an honest error’, a trick which, because it allows us to survive and flourish, becomes increasingly part of our genetic make-up.

    Humphrey’s is but one of many ‘materialist’ explanations of consciousness which have emerged over the past two decades, all building on the central insights of Gilbert Ryle’s The Concept of Mind, in which he insisted that it was the very conditions which produce conscious experience also create the compelling illusion that it must emerge from somewhere else: the famous ‘Ghost in the Machine’. 9Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949). In his magisterial book Consciousness Explained, Daniel Dennett, one of the most dedicated of the materialists, chips away methodically and relentlessly at the intuitions and ‘folk psychology’ which keep the Ghost alive and principally at our overriding sense of being aware of our own conscious experience as it unfolds. We do not think of consciousness simply as the sum total of the activities of thinking – acting, sensing and remembering and so on – but as our ongoing awareness of this activity. Our sense of self and our conscious experience seem to be fundamentally premised on this capacity always to be aware of our own being.

    But in explaining this kind of awareness, Dennett wants to dismantle the ‘Cartesian Theatre’ in the mind, the place where all sensation and thought is relayed before entering consciousness. (In his short prose piece, Company, Samuel Beckett refers to this as the ‘devised deviser devising it all for company’.) In its place, Dennett proposes what he calls the Multiple Drafts theory in which, as he writes, ‘there is no single, definitive “stream of consciousness” […] Instead […] there are multiple channels in which specialist circuits try, in parallel pandemoniums, to do their various things, creating Multiple Drafts as they go’. 10Daniel Dennett, Consciousness Explained (London: Penguin, 1993), pp. 253–254. Dennett continues: ‘The basic specialists are part of our animal heritage. They were not developed to perform peculiarly human actions, such as reading and writing, but ducking, predatoravoiding, face-recognising, grasping, throwing, berry-picking, and other essential tasks. They are often opportunistically enlisted in new roles, for which their native talents more or less suit them. The result is not bedlam only because the trends that are imposed on all this activity are themselves the product of design. Some of this design in innate, and is shared with other animals. But it is augmented, and sometimes even overwhelmed in importance, by microhabits of thought that are developed in the individual, partly idiosyncratic results of selfexploration and partly pre-designed gifts of culture. Thousands of memes, mostly borne by language, but also by wordless “images” and other data structures, take up residence in an individual brain, shaping its tendencies and thereby turning it into a mind.’ Unity of consciousness is an illusion, albeit a powerful one. Consciousness, for Dennett, is ‘gappy and discontinous’, given stability only by an evolving ‘Centre of Narrative Gravity’, which allows our mental activity to coalesce around certain patterns and thus produce a coherent and continuous sense of self. Rather than having any originary status, the self is something continuously enacted through perception and experience. The sensation of consciousness – the ‘what it is like’ to be a sentient human – is a kind of by-product of the processes of perception; a fiction we construct to lend coherence and continuity to our life experience. 11 Ibid., p. 412. Dennett quotes David Hume’s Treatise on Human Nature (1739): ‘For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other of heat and cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe anything but the perception.’ But while for Hume this incapacity to separate self from perception might have been frustration, for Dennett it is simply an accurate refl ection of the self’s inchoate, endlessly evolving nature. Consciousness is the result of mental activity rather than the originator of it.

    The neurologist Antonio Damasio shares this idea of consciousness as a product of mental activity. However he sees conscious experience as something more consistent and uninterrupted. Mental activity is a kind of continuous mapping which eventually produces conscious experience:

    A spectacular consequence of the brain’s incessant and dynamic mapping is the mind. The mapped patterns constitute what we, conscious creatures, have come to know as sights, sounds, touches, smells, tastes, pains, pleasures and the like – in brief, images. 12Antonio Damasio, Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (London: Heinemann, 2010), p. 70. His thinking is elaborated later: ‘In brief, while plunging into the depths of the conscious mind, I discover that it is a composite of different images. One set of those images describes the objects in consciousness. Other images describe me, and the me includes: (1) the perspective in which the objects are being mapped (the fact that my mind has a standpoint of viewing, touching, hearing, and so on, and that the standpoint is my body); (2) the feeling that the objects are being represented in a mind belonging to me and to no one else (ownership) (3) the feeling that I have agency relative to the objects and that the actions being carried out by my body are commanded by my mind and (4) primordial feelings which signify the existence of my living body independently of how objects engage it or not’ (p. 140).

    Damasio’s notion that everything that populates consciousness might be considered as images resonates with Barbara Maria Stafford’s assertion that the content of consciousness is largely non-verbal and cannot be understood through the application of linguistic models. (‘We lack a deeper, richer understanding of the nonverbal ‘inner life’ of the self’.) 13Barbara Maria Stafford, Visual Analogy: Consciousness as the Art of Connecting (Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1999). The corollary is to suggest that images can import the feeling of consciousness more fully and immediately than language.

    Armed with this understanding of the shared capacity of consciousness and of architecture to bring order and coherence (sometimes fleeting, sometimes sustained) to experience, and of the potential of the image to register that coherence, let us return to the photographs with which this essay began.



    Since the mid-1980s, Candida Höfer has, almost exclusively, photographed public and institutional interiors. She is interested in the sober, scrupulous depiction of interior space. While her chosen spaces vary significantly in type, size and age – from Venetian palazzi and scuoli to research laboratories and municipal libraries – they are usually depicted absent of people but full of the signs and equipment of occupation.
    Höfer is the most senior of the so-called ‘Dusseldorf School’ of photographers. Along with Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth and Andreas Gursky, she was part of the first generation of students to be taught at the Dusseldorf Academy by Bernd and Hille Becher. From the Bechers, she inherited a commitment to the extensive documentation of specific architectural types and to a ‘straight’, objective, mode of picture-making. Many commentators on Höfer’s pictures have drawn attention to their qualities of stillness and quietude and to a slight feeling of distance or absence which they convey. In one of Höfer’s major exhibition publications, The Architecture of Absence, Mary-Kay Lombino describes the work as ‘achieving complete clarity and evoking detached tranquility’. 14Mary-Kay Lombino, ‘Inner Order’, in Candida Höfer, The Architecture of Absence, (New York: Aperture, 2004), p. 26. Through her developing technique, Höfer seems to have perfected this aesthetic effect. Working initially with a 35mm camera, she introduced a 6x6cm Hasselblad to her practice in 1994, and has more recently used a largeformat camera making digital prints. At each stage, the change in equipment has enabled an increase in the scale of her exhibition prints (her most recent images extending to 150cm square and larger). Her viewpoints have also changed, from the diagonal viewpoints which had allowed her accommodate the full dimensions of the space within the frame of the smaller camera to elevated, centralised, single-point perspective permitted by the larger apparatus. It is as if the frame of the camera, the pictorial space of the photograph and the space of the architecture have, finally, achieved absolute alignment. Höfer has referred to her most recent images as ‘more static, more in themselves […] sitting in themselves’, as if, in achieving this perfect alignment, they no longer need the involvement of the viewer. Michael Fried has recently diagnosed the ‘absorptive’ quality of Höfer’s images. 15Interivew with Höfer, ‘Through the Lens of Candida Höfer’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfAmjCyPcZw&feature=related (accessed: 30.06.11). Michael Fried’s treatment of Hofer’s work is in Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), pp. 281–294. Fried introduces the terms ‘theatricality’ and ‘absorption’ in his seminal publication Art and Objecthood (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998) and his later elaboration of those themes in relation to the work of Gustave Courbet and others. However, this is not to lose sight of what Lombino calls their ability to give ‘blankness an emotional plentitude’.

    So these are pictures which, in depicting empty spaces, can seem paradoxically full of presence. In the specific case of the Neues Museum, the quiet attentiveness of Höfer’s photography means that the building’s layers of history resonate strongly through the images. Chipperfield’s design strategy for the project was clearly to distinguish between existing fabric and new additions. But it is where the clarity of this distinction breaks down that the architecture is at its most powerful. At a recent lecture, responding to a question about making decisions on ‘value and hierarchy’ on site, Chipperfield abandoned his usual position of detached conceptual clarity and spoke of his many close-up encounters with the fabric of the building and of being faced ultimately with trying to find the point at which all the inert material, new and old, from which each of these spaces is ultimately composed, comes to life. 17The response was made at a lecture in National Gallery, Dublin, 11 November 2010. In the course of the lecture, Chipperfield showed several composite photographic survey images of room elevations which make an interesting counterpoint to Höfer’s images. It is at this point that the revived space assumes a more thoroughgoing conceptual clarity – as if it had been fully inhabited by a new animating idea. This is what illuminates Höfer’s images of the building. As with Struth’s photograph of the Pantheon, she depicts a realm which encompasses not just the physical space and all the layers of history embedded within it, but also the space as envisaged by the architect and the space as experienced by the visitor. Höfer’s photograph distills these layers to a pure lucidity. It clarifies.



    While Walter Niedermayr’s photographs might be seen as sharing some of the absorptive qualities of those of Höfer, they seem more overtly concerned with atmosphere and feeling. He has spoken recently about how his practice has ‘moved from a documentary approach to one concerned with forming and representing an impression of space’. 18Walter Niedermayr lecture, Copenhagen (25.01.11). Notes from Alice Clancy. Niedermayr had initially become well known for his large-scale images of skiers and climbers traversing Alpine landscapes. His interest was in depicting the figures in relative scale to the landscape so that the feeling of the setting’s vastness would be accurately conveyed. He assembled multiple panel images from large prints, allowing the eye to follow figures from one panel to the next as they traversed the terrain.

    Niedermayr subsequently began exploring interiors with the same photographic language so that they too became rendered as large, floating spatial fields. As he explains, ‘nothing in the image should dominate, so that all the elements have the same valence and visibility, from people to objects and architectural structures’. 19Marion Piffer Damiani in conversation with Walter Niedermayr in: Walter Niedermayr, Civil Operations (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2003), pp. 160–162. The use of multiple panels helped in eliminating formal hierarchies, but Niedermayr makes multiple technical adjustments at every stage of the photographic process – prolonging exposure times, using strong filters, lightening the print during development, reducing colour densities while enlarging the images – all in the service of trying to get closer to an essential spatial and mental experience. ‘The most exciting moment’, Niedermayr explains in a 2003 interview, ‘is always when you are perceiving the space with all of your senses and the image, or the idea of the image, takes shape in your mind’. ‘Then’, he suggests, ‘comes the making of the picture […]’. ‘This experience of space has nothing to do with architecture’ he goes on to assert, rather surprisingly. ‘An architect would probably have no interest in my images as documents of his or her work.’ 20Ibid., p. 161. However, in SANAA, Niedermayr acknowledges that he has found an architectural practice with distinct echoes of his own sensibility and aesthetic. He refers approvingly to what he calls the ‘densified simplicity’ of their work. They are interested less in the moment of a building’s completion, more in its original inception and in its subsequent reception. SANAA have acknowledged the capacity of Niedermayr’s pictures to get back, somehow, to the underlying ‘idea’ of the architecture, to the initial dream of what the spaces might be like. Nishizawa suggests that ‘because we share a sensibility, the photograph always has some strong connection to the “purest” intentions of the work’. 21Transcribed from a conversation with Ryue Nishisawa as part of a roundtable discussion chaired by the author on ‘Empathy and Imagination’ at Venice Biennale (26.07.10). And for Sejima, architecture often corresponds more closely to what she sees in the mind’s eye than to the finished building. It is as if she wants the building to remain always on the edge of becoming. One finds echoes of this attitude in the work of their contemporary Sou Fujimito, who, in his text Primitive Future, spoke of making an ‘in-between architecture’:

    In Le Thoronet, it is difficult to understand if the light came first or the stone came first. That is because it may be a state prior to division into light and object. To make architecture is perhaps to produce a primal unified condition, just before the division into light and object, space and object, natural and artificial, inside and outside, city and house, large and small. 22Sou Fujimoto, ‘Primitive Future’ in 2G, 50 (2009): 136.


    ‘PEOPLE MEET ARCHITECTURE IN PHOTOGRAPHY’ 23This was the title of another roundtable discussion at the 2010 Venice Biennale. Ironically, although Niedermayr featured prominently in Sejima’s exhibition, he was not involved.

    Antonio Damasio has described the stream of images, real and recalled, from which our conscious experience is constituted:

    Sometimes the sequences are concurrent, running in parallel; sometimes they intersect and become superposed. When the conscious mind is at its sharpest, the sequence of images are streamlined, barely letting us glimpse the surrounding fringes. 24Damasio, Self Comes to Mind, p. 71.

    Consciousness effortlessly incorporates episodes of alertness and of drifting inattention and all points between.

    If these two photographs are to be interpreted equally as reports on conscious experience and spatial conditions, then Walter Niedermayr’s Bildraum series might be seen as the embodiment of Nicholas Humphrey’s ‘thick moment’ of consciousness. Both the architecture and the images are trying to inhabit a realm on the edge of consciousness, a daydream. Höfer’s Neues Museum images on the other hand – single rather than paired, symmetrically organised around a centre rather than dispersed towards edges – seem born of a wide-awake world in which everything is lucid, deliberate, knowable. One set of images reveals an immanent sense, the other, an animating idea.

    Visitors to the Neues Museum today will find displayed in that octagonal space photographed by Höfer one of the great treasures of the collection – a small bust of Queen Nefertiti dating from the fourteenth century. The painted sculpture is remarkably intact, its forms sure and clear, its colours vivid. And somehow this material artefact exudes a powerful feeling of inner life; she seems for all the world a living, conscious presence. The best portraiture in sculpture and painting has this capacity: to imbue inert material with life and communicate conscious experience.

    This essay has argued that the architectural photograph has the potential to produce equally rich and vivid portraits, which allow a very direct access to building as designed and as experienced. The photograph shows the photographer in a close, extended dialogue with the built environment. Over the course of this dialogue, the focus shifts periodically from a close attention to the given situation to the question of how to make a picture of it, to achieving the best technical realisation of the picture, and then back to the situation depicted. Stephen Shore has described how, through this kind of extended dialogue, photography discovers an ‘inherent architecture’ in every scene it depicts. 25‘Let’s say I’m photographing this intersection and I see it as almost a three-dimensional problem that I have to resolve in some way. Where am I going to stand in this? Where am I going to cut it off? How much am I going to show? Am I going to wait for a person to stand in or for a car to stop? I was also interested in the fact that as I walk down the street, really paying attention to what I’m seeing, I see a constant change in relationships and space. It’s seeing things in the background relating to things in the foreground. As I move, a telephone pole bears an ever-changing relationship to a building next to it or behind it, this mailbox changes its relationship to the telephone pole. These changes occur all the time as one simply takes a walk and looks with conscious attention at what’s there while one is walking. I wanted somehow to record that experience in a still photograph’. Stephen Shore in interview with Lynne Tillman in Shore, Uncommon Places (New York: Aperture, 2004), pp. 182–183. As sources of information about architecture, photographs are often dismissed as being inevitably partial, deliberately misleading, hopelessly subjective or simply second-hand. But, as is clear from the two photographs discussed here, sometimes it is the very strategies of viewpoint, distance, framing and manipulation that allow the photographer get closer to architecture’s complex presence.

    Taken simply as a transparent window, a photograph can offer very direct access into the place it portrays. But – considered as a complex realm which not only contains the traces of its own making but also speaks of how people relate to space, and of how architecture rhymes with consciousness – the photograph can prove endlessly revealing.


    Published in: Adam Sharr (eds). Reading Architecture and Culture., Chapter 14, London, New york: Routledge. , pp.209-220