The Winogrand Museum
Garry Winogrand, a photographer who spent the last ten years of his life photographing Los Angeles in the 1980’s, left behind 75,000 undeveloped, unseen negatives from his street photography when he died; many of Los Angeles. He had no working filing system and chose to develop film at least one year after shooting. This project proposes a public photography museum to Winogrand, sited in the Arts District of Los Angeles. These 75,000 unseen negatives shall be stored, developed, and exhibited here with the purpose of revealing the hidden phantoms of Los Angeles, bound within his celluloid. The proposal investigates how photographic analysis of his work can generate relevant exhibition spaces. This includes the study of his 28mm lens, his (on average) 5-degree wonky horizon lines, stark contrast lighting, extreme highlights, high ISO noise, ‘in your face’ shooting style, centrifugal formal composition, etc. All these conditions bake into the project itself, becoming a simulacrum of his photography. Since these conditions are merely phantoms of film yet to be developed, the notion of the unmade is prevalent in the proposal. The physical model of the project was never physically made, it exists digitally in render space as though it were a physical 1:50 model, and the renders used to study the model act as model photographs of an undeveloped realm. Investigating the proposal in this way leaves a residue of unmadeness, reflecting in the technical execution of the details and thus the experience of the spaces.
1:50 model photograph
These model photographs are renders, and it’s important for them to stay this way. The realistic state of the proposal should always be suspended. The photographs are lost in a non-existent state and therefore the tectonics should do the same at all stages in the design process. This breeds a way of making and designing that is more precisely suited to the sensitive conditions of the brief. Further gallery space photos, between states:
Above: Projection space of negatives (from the lower ground levels up through the building core). Developing and projecting 20 photographs per day would suggest 10 years to develop all the 70,000 photographs. After these 10 years, the projections repeat and the darkroom, cold storage and scanning spaces become part of the public exhibition as their private use is diminished.
Plan and Section (1:100 on A3+)
1:1 detail emerging from its 1:50 state.
Project exhibited in the UG8 Summer Show at the Bartlett, 2018.