Critical Approaches to Architectural Environments: The Photography of Eric Mendelsohn and Wolfgang Tillmans
AdvisorPalmer Albers, Kate
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis thesis is concerned with the development and implications of a critical mode of inquiry into the architectural environment as it is articulated in the photographic projects of German artists Eric Mendelsohn (1887-1953) and Wolfgang Tillmans (b. 1968). These projects are understood as being in opposition to a conventional subordination of photography to architecture. The architectural photograph has consistently been reduced to the role of a tool in the proliferation of structures of global capitalism, facilitating the rise of homogeneous and disconnected built environments. Through an examination and comparison of Mendelsohn’s 1926 book Amerika: Bilderbuch eines Architekten with Tillmans' 2014 video installation Book for Architects, this thesis argues that the visual strategies employed in these works reflect similar concerns regarding the state of architectural practice, providing alternative avenues of inquiry for architects, and highlighting the necessity for deeper engagement with the phenomenological qualities of the architectural environment.
Degree ProgramGraduate College