The exhibition dedicated to Bas Princen‘s work will be open at the Architectural Association in London until May 26. The photographer based in Rotterdam, who was previously trained as an architect, is particularly focused on the dialogues between architecture and the landscape, from dramatic contrasts to blurred merging typologies. “The award-winning Dutch photographer’s work has become increasingly familiar: images that blur the artificial and natural, where the real and imagined are hard to separate. Less known – and never previously exhibited – are the A5 booklets Princen makes, consisting of a series of reference images. The booklets are between 24 and 32 pages long and contain images downloaded by Princen from the internet of famous or completely unknown or already long-forgotten scenes and objects involving landscape and architecture, their low resolution disallowing reproduction any larger than 6 x 9 cm.
Simple and handmade, the booklets can be replaced quickly or adjusted by reprinting on standard A4 paper, folded and stapled. They also form dummies for new books Princen plans to make and act as placeholders for photographs still to be taken. These dummies – or maquettes – are used by Princen to test possible dialogues and formal arrangements of future photographs. The maquettes guide and direct his view, making it possible to compress compositions and subjects taken from several reference images into one new individual photograph. These maquettes are exhibited alongside Princen’s photographs, making manifest the process of thinking to making.”