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Durham University

Centre for Visual Arts and Culture

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Tuesday 1 December 2015

'God’s own Junkyard'. Architecture, Photography, and Society: A Lecture by Professor Hubert Locher

6:00pm to 7:00pm, Hogan Lovells Lecture Theatre, Palatine Centre, Durham University, Professor Hubert Locher

The lecture presents a case study of the use of pictures – here, photography – as evidence, and as a means of advancing theoretical positions about architecture and environmental or urban planning in a plain and appealing manner. It will revolve around the German born architect and architectural critic Peter Blake (1920-2006), presenting a case study on his book God’s Own Junkyard: The Planned Deterioration of the American Landscape (1964). This book combines short programmatic texts with a large number of carefully arranged photographs. It can be considered a relatively early contribution towards a criticism of man’s destruction of the environment, understood here not so much as an ecological system, but rather as an aesthetic phenomenon. In this lecture, I will try to describe and analyse Blake’s use of photography for popularising specific aesthetic standards.

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