A Photograph is a Photograph is a Photograph: Images in the Baumeister 1927-1933
Materias Investigacion::Arquitectura
Der Baumeister
Arquitectural photography
Journalistic practice
Guido Harbers
Interwar period
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Servicio de Publicaciones Universidad de Navarra
Borree, S., (2016) ""A Photograph is a Photograph is a Photograph: Images in the Baumeister 1927-1933"". En: Alcolea, R.A, Tárrago-Mingo, J., (Eds.), Congreso internacional: Inter photo arch ""Interpretaciones"", celebrado en Pamplona, los días 2 al 4 de Noviembre de 2016, (pp. 34-43)
This paper explores the use of photographs in the German mainstream architectural magazine Der Baumeister between 1927 and 1933 under the editorship of architect and author Guido Harbers. While at first glance, the magazine and its imagery appear to resemble other architectural periodicals of the time, a second look reveals a number of photographs with uncommon characteristics. A close reading furthermore suggests an unusual relationship between photographs and text in several of the magazine’s articles. On the one hand, they implicitly or explicitly bring up matters of photography, and either acknowledge the presence of photographs in articles, address their specific pictorial qualities, or appropriate them in order to highlight particular architectural characteristics. On the other, there is a noticeable lack of rigour in the authors’ use of photography, and their intentions remain unclear. The paper discusses two articles on architectural projects, which reflect the aforementioned ambiguity. In the first instance, it sheds a light on the particular use of photographs, and goes on to suggest that a diverse photographic practice existed within the architectural mainstream of the interwar period which has not yet been fully explored. Secondly, the paper argues for the existence of an underlying process of negotiation, as the journal’s authors in question explored their own relationship with the role of architectural photographs in their work. Drawing on Theodor Adorno’s thoughts on the role of the cultural critic and the dissonance of art, the paper finally suggests that the ambiguities and journalistic dubieties which the paper identifies, reflect the inherently ambiguous status of architectural photographs as reliable representations of architecture and as autonomous images
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