Ornament & Découpage. 2019
The pictorial work called “Ornament and Découpage" was conceived as a contribution to the exhibition "What is Ornament" on the occasion of the Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa 2019. In the exhibition, curated by Ambra Fabi and Giovanni Piovene, a total of 15 pictures from the series were exhibited at the Culturgest, Lisbon.
The present pictorial work transfers the principle of découpage to architectural photography - to the photographic material. The starting point is historical architectural and landscape photographs from picture archives, which were subsequently overlaid and decorated with other photographic Objets Trouvés. Be it that the smallest image areas have been multiplied and added to repeating patterns, or that other ornamental image fragments have been taken from arts and crafts catalogs and inserted seamlessly.
The ornamental-like, pictorial figures thus created have only little in common with the original pictures, even less so with the photographic reality. Architectures are depicted that have never actually existed in this view and form - pure fiction, more akin to a photographic-seeming drawing and far removed from the claims of documentation and authenticity that historical black and white photographs tend to be associated with. They are hybrid architectural image constructs, detached from the history of architecture and photography, and can hardly be assigned to any particular function, typology or specific location. They thus fundamentally question the representation of architecture as a photographic image – as a piece of evidence and blur the borders between fact and fiction - an ever increasing characteristic of our times.
Images & Captions
Writings & Reviews
Vassallo, J. (2020, October). Of Objects and Images [Ornament & Découpage Series]. Oris, Issue No. 124 & 125. > PDF (English)