ARTWORK - CONTEMPORARY
Biblioteca Casanatense, Scene 2
Edition of 8
Archival pigment print, mounted on Cintra
44 x 60 inches
These architectural studies of Rome, shot with a cumbersome 4 x 5 view camera, rely on a very direct, head-on view that initially suggests an almost specimen-like facticity. Opting for central and commanding vantage points, Hancock's architectural photography directs the viewer to single buildings and singular surfaces (a wall of books, a palace facade), and thus dis-assemble the organic whole of the city. The work relies upon and even emphasizes the monumental status of the subjects, but also destabilizes that grandeur by showing them to be fragments captured from an organic context. Details like idle policemen, distinctive evening light and library patrons all serve to ground these monuments in the present, creating a productive tension between the timelessness suggested by the commanding perspective and the prosaic temporal details that root the sites in a specific historical moment.