Architectural Beauty & Renewal

Memphis is home to many a great thing of beauty; no doubt Memphis BBQ would be high up on the list for most locals! I’m not sure ‘Architecture’ would immediately come to mind. However, downtown Memphis has undergone and continues to undergo great transformation including stunning renovations of well known historical landmarks, as well as newer architectural additions. I find such a combination of the restored with the contemporary aesthetically very pleasing as well as something to be celebrated.  We are used to seeing buildings torn down and the ground leveled to make way for a replacement that may be repeated perhaps not even a couple of decades later. But, for the buildings that are structurally sound, with solid existing foundations, renewal rather than destruction or starting from zero seems to be favorable among local architects who wish to preserve history. As far as I believe, there is great expense in renovating historical buildings, so they must see the real value and the potential in its restoration. Perhaps we can say this speaks on many personal levels??

Towards the end of 2015 I set out one (bitterly cold) morning with a renewed desire to photograph. I’d previously become somewhat burned out of photography for a while and I truly believed that if I ever picked up my camera again in this lifetime, it would be too soon! (I know I’m not alone in this!) I headed down to the river front, not exactly sure what I should photograph but I just knew I had to start somewhere. Though I’d walked, driven and even run past the Cannon Center a million times, on this occasion I was intrigued by the installation at the entrance. ‘Roof Like A Liquid Flung Over The Plaza’ installed at the Center For the Performing Arts, 2004. I realize looking back at these shots that I was so enamored by the basic form, movement and fluidity of this piece that I never took a step back to actually photograph the sculpture as a whole! I wanted to somehow MAKE my camera take in what I was actually seeing with my eye, really close up. Beauty. Architectural Beauty.

And so it happened, some kind of awakening that was engrained deep inside. A desire to see and to create. I had wanted to level over, start over and move on to something else in regards to career, this is not always bad thing, in fact I did pursue other avenues. But, I see now, in this case, that going through a season of discouragement and wanting to forget was part of the process, it is part of me and my history and it was necessary to where I am now. This doesn’t negate the fact that we all need to fight a creative block every now and again :-)  Any tips for those moments?!

ROOF LIKE A LIQUID FLUNG OVER THE PLAZA, Cannon Center For The Performing Arts, Memphis 2004 / Mirrored stainless-steel, fluorescent light; 4,784 sq. ft. / Acconci Studio (V.A., Peter Dorsey, Stephen Roe, Dario Nunez, Gia Wolff)

The roof is pulled down to make columns & up to make a funnel: sunlight shoots down across the plaza, like the spotlights on-stage inside. At the bottom of the columns, the structure folds to make seats, outside & inside: the roof is mirrored, above & below — inside the column, you sit inside a room of sky…

www.acconci.com

 

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