Jon Gorospe show explores how polished aesthetic feeds architecture of power
By Andrea Cuesta
Rome, Dec 3 (EFE).- Straight lines and smooth surfaces are the order of the day when it comes to contemporary design and a “polished” aesthetic has become the essence of 21st-century architecture, Spanish photographer Jon Gorospe argues in his latest exhibition which launches in Rome on Friday.
Polished Cities dissects myriad contemporary buildings found in cities across the world, from Singapore to New York, Berlin, Milan and Oslo through dozens of photographs by Gorospe.
The photographer first came across the idea of a polished aesthetic in the writings of South Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han and his book Saving Beauty (2015).
Gorospe began to wonder where this aesthetic could be found and he realized that it was “in the neurological centers of cities where offices of important companies, banks and big institutions reside,” the photographer tells Efe.
“I was very interested in the idea of ??how polished things have found their place in buildings that make up neighborhoods designed for work, but not to be inhabited, in what we can call the architecture of power,” Gorospe continues.
But this goes beyond the aesthetics of architecture and taps into the idea that human interactions in these spaces are also smooth, in that life is designed to avoid physical confrontation and clashes between people.
Gorospe, 35, plays with this idea of “fake peace” with an installation that sees the black and white images of clean-cut buildings separated by a sheet of vibrant red glass, which symbolizes the frenetic rhythm of cities.
“The color red is the rhythm of pedestrians in cities, through traffic lights, it allows for pauses in urban life,” the artist tells Efe.
The ancient architecture of the Roman Empire may seem light years away from the modern minimalism we are accustomed to but according to Gorospe they share some similarities.