Shadow gallery

Made up with slides of lectures and classes, this visual patchwork of architectures, seductions and horrors is organized around three main themes: house and city; body and catastrophe; and crisis and conflict. The sections are built with the elementary unit of the double page, and with introductory texts for each four of them to lessen the monotony of the openings formed almost exclusively by images. In its structure, the printed issue evokes its academic origin and its material archive, because the frequent pairing of illustrations in the layout comes from the usual double projection in the classroom, and their grouping in the thematic cores of the double pages handles a number close to the twenty slides that fit in a standard plate. I have tried to let the images speak for themselves, and have written the texts only after designing the page layout. The predominance of the graphic discourse is an architect’s vice, but perhaps the art historians – from the Warburg of the atlases to the Wölfflin of the parallel projection – can also be held responsible for the presentation method. The resulting density recalls the clutter of old painting cabinets, and that is why this text is illustrated with the Panorama of the Central Gallery of the Prado Museum, the 10 meter long photograph by Laurent carried out between 1882 and 1883 with 72 assembled shots, which could be seen using a rotary machine. Here, the strip of the Grafoscopio has been replaced by a sequence of frames, though weaved in a panorama of somehow similar continuity. With a title which evokes another monograph published over fifteen years ago – replacing the sweet dreams of the eighties with the bitter crisis of the millennium beginnings –, the thousand images of this gallery of shadows compose a discourse of the eye or against the eye, a record of the disorder of the times and perhaps also a melancholy cry for order.

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