David K. Ross: Archetypes
David K. Ross
Park Books, 2021
Archetypes features a recent series by Canadian artist David K. Ross, who works at the interface of photography, film, and installation. His images of architectural mock-ups, staged at night with dramatic lighting that isolates structures from their surroundings, demonstrate how these objects have become a charged form of proto-architecture. They also change how we view the practice of architecture by documenting and framing unseen aspects of its emergence. Built at full scale, these architectural fragments—to be removed from construction sites as buildings near completion—ensure that a project can be executed exactly to design, and they provide clients with a simulation of a building that leaves little space for speculation. The task of mock-up documentation is usually left to architects and contractors, who take quick snapshots for their reference during site visits.
Archetypes is the first-ever photographic compilation of this type, reaching beyond a mere artistic record of building technologies and typologies. Instead, the book offers an effective platform to consider what it means to pre-construct fragments of buildings in all their complexity. Published alongside Ross’s images are four essays framing the historical, technological, and civic significance of the mock-up. Archetypes offers an intellectual and aesthetic reference for a wide range of audiences from professionals in architecture to anyone interested in or fascinated by arcane aspects of photography and art.