When talking about surrealism in photography, the first name that comes up would be Man Ray. He carefully “constructed the view” so that a photograph became a work of art. He used his camera to capture ideas, not facts.
Alexander Rodchenko also bent the rules of photography. Although he is well-known for his photomontages, his photographs also bring a unique perspective, literally. Using a handheld camera, he could take pictures that might have just come from the realm of imagination.
Years later, this idea of “constructing reality” breathes a life of its own. In Tokyo Compression, Michael Wolf constructed his photographs as a window to a person’s soul. They feel real and surreal at the same time, terrifyingly taking us to the barrier between imagination and reality.
As architects, we also often dwell in this line between what is real and what is imagined. Throughout the design process, we put an imaginary building on a real context. We can learn how to navigate ourselves in this process by studying these photographs so that we do not become lost in either dream or reality.