David Cardelús. Beyond documentation.
In a world where we never see anything for the first time, architectural photography plays a very important communicative role. Even more so when architectures are concerned - iconic architectures such as the Guggenheim museums, private homes or social housing complexes alike - as their success depends on the proliferation of their digital images. This happens because in most cases, we get to know the projects only thanks to the images we find on the web, as we have less and less opportunities to reach the actual places and check the architectures in person.
David Cardelús, is a Catalan photographer who majored in photography, film and video at the Universitat de Barcelona Fine Arts School. He also took further courses at the Institut d’Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya, so he knows very well the power of images, that he considers “an added value for architecture”.
He always loved photography and the magic of the photographic process, where the light crosses the lens to depict reality and, back in the old days of analogue development, the result of a shooting would slowly appear on paper. Cardelús defines himself as a calm person, who can patiently wait until the sun reaches the right position for his shooting. He told us himself of this great skill he has, that he constantly uses to carry out his job: “Do you know when you can stand in front of a painting –a Rothko, a Mondrian …– for a long, long time just looking at it? I feel that I can do the same with light just revealing subtleties in the urban landscape and enjoying it and I want to share this same fascination with others through my photographs.”
David Cardelús in his role as an author of images, does not just limit himself to the mere aesthetics of the buildings he photographs. Indeed, the job of an architectural photographer is not creating a simple reportage; on the contrary, they must create a dialogue between architects, photographers and viewers. The purpose of this dialogue is to make sure that the image can be understood by anyone. Today, for the mere fact of owning a camera - or a smartphone! - many of us believe to be photographers: all in all, taking a photograph is so simple. In actual fact, Cardelús’ creative process is a very complex one. Few people today know the importance of Visual Literacy, and this is the exact reason why Cardelús’ approach is fundamental in the mediation between architects and viewers. The author believes that: “starting from the simplification and abstraction of the elements of the frame, and establishing a dialogue between the photographic representation of the project and its viewers, we generate the communicative discourse that makes images permanent and gives them sense and meaning regardless of the time and the specific geographical area in which the photographs of the architectural project are interpreted.”
For David Cardelús the real purpose of architectural photography is to propose and share the ideas of an architect who, with his work, decisively transformed a small part of the world. It is the role of the photographer to make these ideas visible, using images aimed at depicting an architecture in the best possible way, so as to give the viewers the keys for interpretation.
In carrying out his activities as a photographer, David Cardelús always bears in mind that today, the Internet is the natural habitat of photography, as in there, things happen in the very moment when they appear on a device screen, leading to a customisation of our visual experiences.
To sum up, for this author, architectural photography is a powerful means of persuasion, as it is apparent in the images he shares with us.