Talks Dancing with Architecture: Hélène Binet in Conversation with Gu Zheng

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Professor Gu has mentioned in his article of the exhibition album that most of Hélène Binet 's architectural photography presents how light dances with the building as a natural force within the building, rather than the image of how the building was illuminated by light from the outside. In addition, she prefers to use of detail display in her photography, and through ingenious light processing, which makes her architectural photography more autonomous and spiritual.

In Hélène’s opinion, this kind of autonomy means framing the flow of the world in order to observe certain specific elements. Through this process connections and dialogues are created between lines, light, voids, close-ups and background, figures, structures, various materials, until it becomes a self-contained world with its own narrative.

For this talk, Hélène will talk about the physical relationship between the buildings she photographed. This relationship can be described as choreography, since her movements around the buildings are regulated by time, as light changes during the day, and space, considering that every photograph is a result of an adjustment between her body, the camera and the building.

She will also share with Mr. Gu the key moments of her 30 years of career as a photographer and how she applied the concept of dialogues in the exhibition.

Panelists Introduction

Hélène Binet was born in 1959 in Sorengo and is of both French and Swiss background. She currently lives in London with her husband Raoul Bunschoten. She studied photography at the Instituto Europeo di Design in Rome, where she grew up, and soon developed an interest in architectural photography. Over a period of thirty years Hélène Binet has photographed both contemporary and historical architecture. Her body of work includes photos of architects such as: Raoul Bunschoten, Caruso St John, Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind, Studio Mumbai, Peter Salter, Peter Zumthor and many others. While following the work of contemporary architects – often from construction through completion – Hélène Binet has also photographed the works of past architects as Alvar Aalto, Geoffrey Bawa, Le Corbusier, Sverre Fehn, Nicholas Hawksmoor, John Hejduk, Sigurd Lewerentz, Andrea Palladio Dimitris Pikionis, Sergio Musmeci and Hans Van der Laan and recently she has been working on traditional Asian architecture. More recently, Hélène Binet has started to direct her attention to landscape photography, wherein she transposes key concerns of her architectural photography. Hélène Binet’s work has been published in a wide range of books, and is shown in both national and international exhibitions. The first monograph entirely dedicated to her work, Composing Space, was published by PHAIDON (London/New York) in 2012. Binet has received several honors, including the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize in 2019 and the Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award in 2015.

Gu Zheng, Ph.D. (Osaka Prefecture University, Japan, 1998), Professor of the School of Journalism, Fudan University, Vice-director of the Research Center for Visual Culture, Fudan University.He was the winner of the Chinese Photography Golden Figure Prize (Theory and Criticism) in 2001 and the 1st Shafei Photography Award (2007). Gu has published several books about contemporary photography and photographic history, including Expression of the City: 20th Century Urban Photography (2003), The Sixth Face of Modernity (2007), etc. He has curated many exhibitions and is a jury member of World Press Photo (2013).

Event Information

Hélène Binet: Dialoghi, works from 1988 to 2018

Opening Talk:

Dancing with Architecture: Hélène Binet in Conversation with Gu Zheng

Panelists: Hélène Binet, Gu Zheng

Time: April 19, 2019 14:00-15:30

Venue: 3F Theater

Language: CN/EN with simultaneous translation

Guest Portrait