Archisearch is organizing a second series of podcasts within the Archisearch Talks initiative, with title Photographer’s Eye. Vassilis Bartzokas is talking with some of the greater contemporary photographers.
First guest in the “Photographers Eye” Series was Erieta Attali. Erieta is an energetic, unstoppable, creative artist who travels constantly all over the world. She spent her childhood in Tel Aviv, Istanbul and Athens. She studied in Athens, in London Goldsmiths College, in Columbia University, in Waseda University in Tokyo, and had her PhD studies in RMIT University in Australia. Her photographs have been published and exhibited all around the world and were included in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. She worked as assistant professor in Architectural Photography at GSAPP, in Columbia University, and now she is adjunct assistant professor at the Architecture School of Cooper Union. From January 2021 she will be teaching at National University of Singapore. She is editor and co-author, with Kengo Kuma, of the monograph: “Glass | Wood Erieta Attali on Kengo Kuma” by Hatje Cantz, editor and co-author, with Marc Mimram, of a three volume monograph titled: “Marc Mimram: Structure | Light: Landscapes of Gravity Through the Lens of Erieta Attali” published by Hatje Cantz. Attali’s photography monograph: “Periphery | Archaeology of Light” by Hatje Cantz, is the winner of the prestigious German photo book prize 19|20 under the category Conceptual Fine Art Photography.
From 1992 to 2002 she has extensively photographed excavation sites and archeological findings, in several countries: “I was always attracted by ruins and deserted landscapes. I decided to work in archeology. Archeological photography was technical and removing creative processes. I wanted to go beyond limitations and, gradually, I moved towards architecture where I could exist as landscape photographer, monument photographer, photographing antiquities if I wanted, through a creative process”.
Concerning Architectural photography, she has spent quite some time in Greece, Japan, Chile, she has worked with the best Architects in the world: “After I completed my studies in London and worked with Archeology in Greece, I started working for Columbia University as a Professor. Gradually I shifted towards Japan. I photographed the work of Tadao Ando, Yoshio Taniguchi, Kengo Kuma, Riken Yamamoto and many more. I also got really interested in exploring the extreme locations of Chile, with a kind of obsession towards Atacama Desert”.
Talking about her books with Kengo Kuma and the beginning of their relationship, she mentioned: “When I was in Columbia University, I came across a book which was presenting his “Water Glass House”. When I saw it, I wondered who this incredible designer is. I decided to go and find him in Tokyo. I remember flying there to meet him, just for one day. Since then, we established a very interesting, creative, artistic collaboration”.
About her book with Marc Mimram and their relationship she mentions: “The three-volume monograph, got released last November, it presents his works within a decade, his outstanding bridges. We got introduced by the director of Aga Khan Architectural Awards Farouk Derakshani, in 2016. I have a passion with bridges, since I was a child. Throughout our collaboration, what fascinates me is megastructures, bridges as connectors of landscapes and lightweight structures floating, connecting and creating a new landscape”.
Talking about her project in Paris, she says: “I started since March 17th, the first day of lockdown in Paris. I started running and photographing the city every day. Now I am walking and photographing, but with an I-Phone. I decided, conceptually, to build up my work using a smart phone and a physical engagement”.
Her message to the new, young photographers is: “To be following your dream, to be persistent, obsessed with what you want to achieve, and hard worker. There is no limit of what hard work can mean”.
As a professor, what she tries to teach her students is: “For me, it was very interesting facing students coming from all kinds of places. I don’t treat them just as students with little experience, but as grownups, that can create incredible works. I try to challenge them, to invite them to complicated tasks and make them work hard. It is a creative process, with great results”.
Her opinion about the ability of architects to be surprised and discover new paths through the work of a photographer is: “I am not interested in collaborating with architects who are happy with the photographic result of the architecture as an object. The architects I work with are always surprised with the result, because I reveal the origins of their idea and I touch the intension of their design, through my photography, which is narrative base”.
She is currently working on some new exhibitions in Greece and abroad for 2021: “I will have an exhibition in the Byzantine Museum in Athens, in May 2021, designed by Aris Kafantaris. An exhibition in Thessaloniki, which will be designed by Tasos Roidis. I will have another exhibition in Munich and one in Melbourne”.
Listen to the whole podcast of Erieta Attali here
You can find all the episodes of Archisearch Talks-Photographer’s eye series here