The link between architectural photography and archaeology in my work is rather personal. It has more to do with the experiences that can shape one’s aesthetic vision, and less with a conscious underlying theoretical framework. A framework still exists of course, as does a particular mode of looking at structures and surface materiality that stems directly from the skill-set acquired through archaeological research.
Photography is often likened to a visual language. The “most literary of the graphic arts”[i] is after all a formal system with commonly accepted structure and recognizable motifs.
If “nature” and “architecture” are commonly conceived as opposing entities, representative of human encroachment on the primordially physical image of the world, under which conditions do these two fundamental factors form a strong liaison and which is the ensuing by product? Can this often ignored bond between culture and nature be unearthed and put to light by the use of photography?
The degree to which a building engages with the culture or the landscape of a place is primarily controlled by the design intent i.e. the architectural concept and the success of its implementation. Photography reveals relations but it does not build them in the first place. Even in the extreme case where a structure is consciously designed to differentiate and separate itself from any sort of environment, cultural or natural, it is still inevitably situated into a context and perceived as part of it.
From my very first attempt at photographing architecture in December 1995 I realized that I wanted both building and landscape to narrate a common story and form an inseparable whole. There are two key processes at work when I photograph architecture as a component of its surrounding landscape: one directed inwards and one directed outwards, and they take place simultaneously.