New vision in space-time: architecture and photography in the experimental photo-practice of Moholy-Nagy
Keywords: 
Materias Investigacion::Arquitectura
Architectural theory
Photography
Avant-garde
Space
László Moholy-Nagy
Issue Date: 
2016
Publisher: 
Servicio de Publicaciones Universidad de Navarra
ISBN: 
978-848081-521-2
Citation: 
Burke, T., (2016) ""New vision in space-time: architecture and photography in the experimental photo-practice of Moholy-Nagy"" En: Alcolea, R.A, Tárrago-Mingo, J., (eds.), en Congreso internacional: Inter photo arch ""Intersecciones"", celebrado en Pamplona, los días 2 al 4 de Noviembre de 2016, (pp.56-69)
Abstract
This paper will explore the relationship between photography and architecture in the work of Moholy-Nagy, through an exploration of its spatial properties. Developing a critical theory around spatial relationships that occur in the artistic production, the paper argues for Moholy-Nagy’s work to be seen as a hybrid form of avant-garde experimentation that bridges the medium of both photography and architecture, and draws into question the qualities of each. By exploring this interstitial mode of experimentation, the paper argues for a unique mode of spatial production in Moholy-Nagy’s work, that brings together modern concepts of space-time and the photographic gaze to reframe the spatial experience of architecture. Moholy-Nagy’s formative experiments with photo-media throughout the inter-war period provides a unique insight into a critical interaction between photography architecture occurring at the Bauhaus. For Moholy-Nagy, by “arresting fragments of the world”, the criticality of photography was elevated by its ability to both represent and abstract architecture to produce new spatial compositions. At the centre of this discussion is Moholy-Nagy’s development of creative processes in photography that can be applied to architectural scholarship, where technologically enhanced vision is cultivated as the new embodied modern experience.paper examines his written work through the framing of Giedion and Benjamin to advance a critical theory that argues for the mutual development of spatial production in photography and architecture. The paper critically analyses the spatial composition of his experimental photo-practice, taking examples from his oeuvre of photography (View From the Berlin Radio Tower in Winter, 1928), photoplastics (Murder on the Railway Line, 1927), and photograms (Photogram No. 1-The Mirror, 1922-23). The correlations of spatial production in these different mediums provide new insights into space creation as a critical interaction between photography and architecture.
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