I have briefly mentioned the work of photographer Abelardo Morell in a previous post and a recent purchase, a new monograph of his work published by Phaidon, has brought many more of his amazing photos. This book has a number of different series of photographs, including the beautifully melancholy camera obscura images. However, the collection of photographs of books has most resonated with me.
Many of these images treat the books as objects, sculptural and architectural edifices. For those of us that live with many books, at home and at the office, these images remind us of their physical presence, their mass and weight, texture and smell, beyond their collective rank and file order on the shelves. Morell is a master at re-presenting the ordinary, transcending the stuff of everyday life into hauntingly contemplative objects.
These photos are great lessons for architects. That we could make buildings of such beauty and weight, of such substantial stuff as these. We often mistake our memory of books for the information they contain. It is why the Kindle and other electronic reader devices are mere conveniences, not objects of adoration and contemplation.
All images are low resolutions scans from the book, Abelardo Morell, published by Phaidon 2005.