Gaelen Pinnock

News:

Structure #1 was shortlisted for the 2015 Barclays L’Atelier Award

-

Selected by the ABSA L'Atelier as one of the top 80 young artists of the year for 2014.

Other Links:

Towers I

Towers I

Principe Island
West Africa
2012

Towers II

Towers II

Belgrade,
Serbia
2012

Towers I & II

Towers I & II

All images in this series were displayed in Diptychs

Facada I

Facada I

Principe Island
West Africa
2012

Facada II

Facada II

Belgrade,
Serbia
2012

Enter I

Enter I

Principe Island
West Africa
2012

Enter II

Enter II

London,
UK
2012

Villa I

Villa I

Principe Island
West Africa
2012

Villa II

Villa II

Belgrade,
Serbia
2012

Esta Prece I

Esta Prece I

Principe Island
West Africa
2012

Esta Prece II

Esta Prece II

London,
UK
2012

Sewing Room I

Sewing Room I

Principe Island
West Africa
2012

Sewing Room II

Sewing Room II

Cape Town,
South Africa
2012

Surface I

Surface I

Principe Island
West Africa
2012

Surface II

Surface II

London,
UK
2012

Teeth I

Teeth I

Principe Island
West Africa
2012

Teeth II

Teeth II

Belgrade,
Serbia
2012

Convite I

Convite I

Principe Island
West Africa
2012

Convite II

Convite II

London,
UK
2012

Creating a building is an optimistic act. It is invested with hopes and ideas about how it’s to be used, how it can help people and change society.

But buildings are like people. They get old and increasingly irrelevant. Some, through ill-managed conception or subsequent neglect, become delinquent. Some are despised, some abandoned and most eventually get razed to make way for new lives.

Social realism in photography focuses on people, their issues, their joys and their tribulations. For me, as an architect, structures and spaces are poignant indicators which frame urban lives and act as the stage sets of transition. They’re physical records of people’s lived experiences, their communities and their societies over time.

This series of photographs brings together disparate dystopian environments. Some are from the island of Príncipe in West Africa, others are of neglected or abandoned modernist structures. They both represent the decline of utopian dreams.

The arcadian lives of the wealthy Portuguese colonists in Príncipe ended in 1976 from one day to the next. They were forced to flee, leaving their villas behind, the invading jungle becoming the visible agent of change.

In the urban context, that agent is less tangible. The utopian enthusiasm of the modernist architectural movement, especially in high-density social housing projects, has subsequently been seen by many as an urbanistic and social failure. With their hopes never quite realised and with the reality of poverty, neglect and decay, these structures have mostly come to represent the social ills and stigmas which beset the poor. The brutalist forms and depraved landscapes are invaded not by jungle, but by a sense of anomie.