An architecture of ever more elaborate facades and tech-enabled structure is keenly worn like jewellery by cities all around the world.
Crowned looks at what this architecture can be in its boldest sense – large cultural constructs of economy, politics, imagination and myth. It represents the large systems that act on us and is therefore a constant fascination to me, a constant puzzle to grapple with and try to get a hold on.
The photographs play with colour, form and surface to tease out the delirium, complexity and beauty of this high pitch urbanism.
Once limited to a few leading world cities, spectacle architecture has jumped and accelerated all around the world as global capitalism has taken hold. In the last few decades the new cities of the Middle East and the remodelled cities of China have been scrambling for extravagant architecture to put themselves on the map.
There is a growing sense of folly about the accumulation of this type of architecture in a world facing serious social, economic and environmental issues. There is a brazen power play etched in the elaborate surfaces and a flexing of muscles in their dramatic forms. It gives an impression of instability and a slippery relationship with reality, realism is left behind which very much chimes with the global corporate culture they represent. Like true follies these buildings and business districts are now of course sitting mostly empty all around the world due to the Corona pandemic.