Saturday, July 30, 2011

Architecture Strange Yet Familiar

Storm Crown Mechanism (2009) by David Trautrimas

At Bergamot Station, dnj Gallery is holding a group show featuring a number of artists that they represent, including Michael Eastman, Cynthia Grieg, Annie Seaton, and Bill Sosin. I can write at length about these excellent photographers, but today I feel like writing about David Trautrimas' futuristic architectural structures from his Spyfrost Project (2010), a few of which are on display in this show.

Trautrimas' works are based around household appliances imagined as architecture, specifically inspired by a techno-thriller Cold War militaristic aesthetic. Photographing numerous images of these vintage consumer goods and their component parts, Trautrimas reassembles them into fantastic military structures. They look like something out of a wild '50s era espionage comic book. Is the structure above a secret Soviet "Weather Control" facility or a mishmash of refrigerator parts? And how about this image?

Terra Thermal Inducer (2009) by David Trautrimas

Yeah, through the magic of a creative imagination and expert photomanipulation, Trautrimas has created a retro-futuristic Cold War environment out of the detritus of consumerist culture. The metal and chrome from the "House of the Future" has been reworked into military structures that never were. Yet, they feel so authentic. I can imagine a "Thermal Inducer" hidden in the Siberian wilderness.

I think the key to this sense of believability is that the architecture is both strange yet familiar. The details of a household appliances may not grab our attention, but we become subconsciously inured to its form. So, when we see these parts rearranged into Cold War structures, we feel a sense of plausibility. Even if the building is implausible!

Micro Re-Instigator (2009) by David Trautrimas

I really admire this work. It makes me want to write a techno-thriller spy adventure set in a retro-futuristic setting. With structures called "Seismic Conduction Towers", don't they just beg for a narrative? Isn't this the type of place that James Bond would blow up? Goodness, I love these images!!!

Here's a vid about David Trautrimas' Spyfrost Project:

And here's a commercial that these images brought to mind. ;-)

I highly recommend you check out these images at dnj Gallery. And check out the other fine photos of the group show, about which I hope to discuss in future posts. Good stuff!!!

Here's dnj Gallery's website.

And here's David Trautrimas' website.


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