The second edition of the Collective design fair takes place this weekend in Manhattan. This year, the fair—founded by architect Steven Learner—has set up shop in the atrium at the McKim, Mead & White-designed Farley Post Office in Manhattan and added 19 additional galleries to its roster. One of the newcomers, German dealer Gabrielle Ammann, is offering work by Zaha Hadid, Wolfs + Jung, Satyendra Pakhalé, and several others—including an impressive table by Studio Nucleo—but among the highlights of her booth are 10 prints by architectural photographer Hélène Binet.
Binet, who was born in Switzerland and raised in Italy, moved to London in the late 1980s. There, she began photographing architecture with what became her particular style. She has an eye that seizes on details and frames experiential moments, privileging poetry and evocation over explanation or representation. She has gone on to photograph work by some of the most significant architects of her generation as well as historical subjects. The selection at Collective draws from her studies of the London architecture of Nicholas Hawksmoor, shown two years ago at the Venice Architecture Biennale, and a series focusing on “portraits” of Hadid’s MAXXI museum in Rome, as well as work by Le Corbusier and Peter Zumthor.
RECORD spoke with Binet about the work on view, how she approaches her practice, and the relationship between photographer and architect. This fall, her work will also be featured in Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age at The Barbican in London, September 25, 2014-January 11, 2015.
The Collective 2 design fair runs May 8-11 in New York City.
Several of the photos that Ammann//Gallery is showing at Collective come from your series about Nicholas Hawksmoor, and in particular his work from the early 18th century that revive classical motifs. Why did you begin photographing that work?