notion of…


RR1 (2001) C-Type Lustre Digital Print by David Rowan.

The idea of an “architectural uncanny” was put forth by architectural historian Anthony Vidler to describe how our understanding of architecture is often characterized by strange and threatening experiences. His concepts build upon Sigmund Freud’s classic 1919 essay on the uncanny, explaining how the German word unheimlich, of “un-homely,” describes the sensation of the uncanny as being estranged from the comforts of home.

Lesson / Koan : The familiar can surprise.

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PK808 (2002) C-Type Lustre Digital Print by David Rowan.

The notion of the uncanny is by nature diametrically opposed to the calculated logic of architecture. The scientific order that is intrinsic to architectural design is paradoxically tainted with human projections. Many humans produce superstitious tendencies, the products of one’s own civilisation become confounded and therefore some can be consumed by their own irrationality.

On the other hand, to embrace the irrational can itself become a form of beauty.

BTW,

Pacha Kuti 1

The Underground: Mythologies 1945 – 2072

‘In drains begin responsibilities’ — Joseph Chamberlain.

PK821 (2002) C-Type Lustre Digital Print by David Rowan.

‘Pacha Kuti’ refers to an Inca apocalypse legend and translates as ‘the world – upside down’

David Rowan’s Pacha Kuti series depicts underground car parks, with an aura of impending danger that references not only the familiar, lurking apprehension that typifies these urban caverns, but in the drenched, moss-invaded pillars lie echoes of ancient Roman cisterns; a juxtaposition that unites these distant epochs in a Ballardian kind of Deep Time. Yet there are glimmers of optimism amongst the gloom. While its contemporary subject matter reeks of despair, its nod to Unu Pachakuti, the flood in Incan mythology that destroyed all but two of the human race, signifies the emergence of construction out of deconstruction, of future possibilities arising from the end of an era.

NOTE :

Deep Time, according to John McPhee, who coined the term, refers to the millions of years in the geologic record, as opposed to our everyday sense of time in which centuries and millennia seem endless.

PK825 (2002) C-Type Lustre Digital Print by David Rowan.

J.G. Ballard’s definition of deep time is one so, so different. Deep time is endless, in that the memory of what once was, can not be erased. Each human over the history of the planet has this sense of deep time. The common shared experience of deep time is revealed in David Rowan’s photographs.

Yesterday’s Brutalist architecture post is today rendered in the hands of a photographer beyond his time. Rowan’s talent lies in his ability to transform each of us, and the willingness to travel under the surfaces of our cities and ourselves. To truly look under oneself can reveal and define everything we search for, and so rarely find.

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Empty Grid 40"x30" C41 type print 1st edition by David Rowan.

number 6 12"x16" digital monochrome print by David Rowan.

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