On the surface – Grit of fact, Allure of fiction

What a wonderful way to consider the potential surface of a photograph:

“… the grit of fact and the allure of fiction.”

See (and hear) more about Jeff Wall and his work here at SFMOMA
And this photo of the Barcelona Pavilion –


Morning Cleaning – Jeff Wall

Mr. Wall calculated his double intentions and the interests of his photograph in a very eloquent and revealing way:

“…cleaning is mysterious, since it is a labor that erases itself if it is successful.” – Jeff Wall.

The pavilion – the “site” of Walls photograph above – is itself a reproduction of the original pavilion designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as the German National Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition.

It is interesting to consider Wall’s photographic work in the context of one of the most influential objects of “modern” architecture – the Mies pavilion “original” only existed relatively briefly – about a year actually, but what became of that brief existence is an overwhelming influence upon a “modern” architecture. Work began in 1983 and the new building was opened on its original site in 1986 completely re-assembled and reconstituted. A “complete” replication of the original. Explore more about the pavilion here.


Reflection of Alba (Dawn) by Georg Kolbe
35 mm slide from a 1990 – a visit to the pavilion
Matt Niebuhr

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