The architectural photography of Hélène Binet

Rowan Moore   /  Source:  The Guardian

Jasmine Bruno, Hélène Binet in her studio, 2021.

On the eve of her exhibition at the Royal Academy, London W1 (23-October-23 January), the photographer explains how she connects with the spirit of the world’s most beautiful buildings.

"It’s like being a musician in front a big audience. You can’t get it wrong. In that instant, you have to be the best of yourself, you bring your mind to a place, not to lose that unique moment.” Hélène Binet is explaining her commitment to working with the venerable techniques of analogue, as opposed to digital, photography, of carrying around heavy equipment, loading it with expensive film, of putting her head under the dark cloth at the back of a large-format camera, of composing the photograph with the upside-down image it offers on its glass screen and then developing and printing the results in a dark room.

It’s striking that she compares her work with dynamic performance, as one of its salient qualities is its stillness, but it’s also revealing: for Binet, who grew up in a family of musicians, her images are also about liveliness and actions. It’s just that these things are implied rather than shown, out of shot or behind the scenes. She takes photographs of life that you can’t see...

The Guardian. Universes for your imagination to inhabit: the architectural photography of Hélène Binet

The Photographs of Hélène Binet

Hélène Binet, Atelier Peter Zumthor, Therme Vals, Graubünden, Switzerland, 2006.

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