(Short extract from 4000 word essay)
by Liam Devlin
Peter Bobby’s work consists of various combinations of still photography, digital video and sound recordings that collectively examine the particular experience of contemporary High-Rise architecture, in both its exterior façade and its interior environments. The seemly straightforward observational approach by Bobby belies a consistent and concerted exploration of the ideological assumptions of a de-centred, fast and fluid global capitalism. His work artfully exposes the influences of a modern, corporate capitalism that underpins the architectural structures Bobby has chosen.
The predominant means by which we encounter the photographic representation of such structures is through the more commercially driven, ‘architectural photography.’ The costumer client relationship that generates such images usually ensures this genre of photography can be said to reiterate the promotion of capitalist ideology that the buildings themselves embody. At first glance many of Peter Bobby’s images seem to conform to the aesthetic conventions of this particular photographic practice. However there is a fundamental shift in the images potential function with Bobby’s deliberate translation of this form of imagery into an overtly art discourse. Through the considered and deliberate staging of his still and moving images, Bobby holds in tension the usually distinct discourses of architectural photography and art and this tension creates a certain indeterminacy around the work. The insertion of the clean, manicured aesthetic of professional architectural photographic into the indeterminate space of art offers the images and recordings as perspectives to think with and in the process the opportunity to question the language of power.
A full version of this essay can be found in the publication ‘High-rise’.