Urban Documents At Architecture Centre Bristol

By Nicola Tann | 14 July 2006
Black and white photo of a model of a hospital

Photo courtesy of The Architecture Centre

A new photographic exhibition in Bristol is asking what our buildings say about our lives and our time.

Running until September 15 2006 at the Architecture Centre on Bristol’s harbourside, Urban Documents, by artist and photographer Steven Monger, consists of a series of photographs of cardboard models of real life buildings.

Black and white photo of a model of empty offices with a ‘For Sale’ sign

Photo courtesy of The Architecture Centre

Using special lighting and a large format camera, Monger creates images in which the models look superficially realistic, but which have been subtly manipulated to emphasise a particular detail.

Monger’s photographs exaggerate physical clues to how we use our buildings and examine the way they have been adapted to suit our changing needs. In doing this, Monger believes, we have an opportunity to consider how our contemporary architecture will stand up to adaptation in the future.

Black and white photo of a model of a building

Photo courtesy of The Architecture Centre

Architecture Centres have existed for a number of years in North America and Europe but have only emerged in the UK in recent years.

The Bristol Centre was one of the first to be established outside London ten years ago, and hosting exhibitions is one of many roles the centre fulfils.

Black and white photo of a model of a building

Photo courtesy of The Architecture Centre

“For the Architecture Centre in Bristol, working with artists is an important means of establishing a dialogue between built environment professionals and a more general audience”, says Gillian Fearnyough, Director of the centre.

“This exhibition, through outstanding photography, stimulates argument and poses a number of questions which the centre can explore and debate with our audience.”

Black and white photo of a model of a building

Photo courtesy of The Architecture Centre

Urban Documents will tour to The Lighthouse, Glasgow, The Royal William Dockyard, Plymouth, Havant Gallery, Southampton (through Solent Architecture Centre) and RIBA Portland Place.

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