Sunday, May 27, 2007
Seville is where I originally had the idea for this project, so it was very exciting to come back with my equipment and make some work. In the intense Mediterranean heat, I shot amazing abandoned pavilions and a mosquito infested, beer can littered fountain. There was so much I feel I will have to come back to complete the job.
Here are a few digital snapshots of the 1992 Seville site. I will probably post my real work to the blog in a month or two once all of my film is processed and scanned, so keep in mind that these are merely backup snapshots.
So that wraps up the European shooting for now! I am hoping I can get funding to continue this project, and examine the architecture and environment of all the world fair sites in the world. In July I will be doing some work in the US, most likely site locations around the west coast. Stay posted---more to come. Ciao!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Shooting in Paris was pretty rough, as we had to cart around the equipment on crazy rush hour Paris metros. Additionally, the most famous World Fair structure in existence had to be shot for the project---the Eiffel Tower. Shooting it was rather uninspiring what with the hordes of tourists, but there were some beautiful neoclassical sculptures of voluptuous nudes enjoying life throughout the site.
Shooting the Paris structures has been very challenging, as it is the first time I am shooting enormous neoclassical buildings with my 4 x 5. Finally I am getting confidence in exactly how shooting with each of my 3 lenses will appear, and the quirks of each. Specifically, working on the Petit Palais and the Grand Palais was a lesson in documenting large buildings accurately.
Today---albeit sunstroke and too much pate and cheese---involved shooting the Palais de Tokyo, which was the most inspiring Paris shoot of the week. Once again the buildings consisted of neoclassical columns and sculpures of voluptuous nudes. However, the fountain was dried up and filled with glittering broken glass and beer cans and a smelly green funk, and some graffiti artists were hard at work tagging while I was shooting. It is things like this I find most exciting in this project: interesting juxtapositions between bloated concepts of nationalism through Expo architecture combined with normal, contemporary urban life.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
After shooting the 1958 Atomium in Brussels, it was on to the 1890 site (or thereabouts). Set in a huge park in the financial district of the city, it was an amazingly inspiring shoot. Many original structures were still standing, all of them elegantly constructed in steel and glass, celebrating the industrial advancements of the 19th century. There was something inherently creepy about these buildings standing, as their original intent was to only be there temporarily, for the duration of the Fair. Despite the brief periods of sunshine and the throngs of people in the park, it was a place with a rather dark feeling to it. These are some digital back-up snaps I took at the site, and a photo of me with my equipment in the Brussels metro station.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
It is my second day in Belgium, where 5 or 6 World Fairs took place. Yesterday shot all day at the site of the 1958 and 1933 World Expos: some beautiful pavilions were still standing; as well as some more amusing structures, such as the Atomium, pictured here. Today it is pouring rain---typical Belgium weather---and so am waiting out the weather until I begin shooting. Delicate wood cameras get a little cranky in this humidity, unfortunately.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Shooting at the Barcelona Worlds Fair Site proved to be an interesting challenge. There were several remaining structures, including the Magic Fountain, several pavilion buildings, and the Mies Van Der Rohe designed German pavilion. This area---known as Montjuic---is quite touristy, as it is the entrance to an area with several very important museums and cultural institutions. However, the most challenging part proved to be ´Construmat,´a huge expo devoted to such things as tractors, swimming pools, hot tubs, and other such things. So, I had to shoot an originally temporary fair with a temporary fair being built on top of it. As a result, several of my large format photographs include not only the structure from the 1930 fair, but some quite nice hot tubs as well.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Today I leave for my first photo shoot overseas---bringing a 4 x 5 wood field camera, Mamiya 6 x 7 camera, and a little digital, plus my little sister as the assistant! Dreading the airport security with my massive amount of gear, although I have already fed-exed the bulk of my film to Barcelona. The project entails shooting Worlds Fair sites throughout the world.