Architecture Without Films
By Manfred Naescher
Berlin, Germany: self-published, 2010
Dimensions: 8.25 in x 5.75 in
Process: digital printing
Color: full color throughout
Edition Size: Limited signed and numbered edition of 100
In this series of drawings, the play of light on buildings (or what appear as buildings) is extracted from screenshots taken from films. By projecting the images onto a wall and by the use of pencil and paper to create a wall rubbing of the architectural elements in the frame, architecture permeates the paper from both sides of the sheet: the front side of the sheet receives the shape and tonality of the projected building, while the back side connects to the wall and transmits a surface texture of a building that, in the process, becomes imprinted onto the paper. This process contributes actual light and stone to mere images of light and stone. All the non-architectural elements of the film frames are voided, yet the voids themselves frequently create visibility through negative space, which allows both the human element and narrative possibilites to enter the context.
Architecture Without Films presents both a process-based approach to image-making through appropriation and transformation, and a typological sequence of fragmented (cinematic) space. The source imagery is from Berlin Express (Jacques Tourneur, 1948), Muerte de un ciclista (Death of a Cyclist, Juan Antonio Bardem, 1955), Down By Law (Jim Jarmusch, 1986), Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1977), LA Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997), Play Time (Jacques Tati, 1967), and Sasom i en spegel (Through a Glass Darkly, Ingmar Bergman, 1961).
The title of the series is in reference to the catalogue of Bernard Rudofsky's 1964-65 exhibition Architecture Without Architects at the Museum of Modern Art. The typeface used on the cover was designed by Masayuki Sato in 2009. The artist book Architecture Without Films is a signed and numbered edition of 100, and is self-published by Manfred Naescher in 2010. A promotional postcard for the book is also included with each copy.