Luisa Lambri
Blind Room


This is a selection of images realized by Luisa Lambri, in Finland, inside buildings designed by the famous architect Alvar Aalto. They are part of an exhibition organized by the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (Helsinki).

"…there is no architecture without program, without action, without event. As a whole, these texts reiterate that architecture is never autonomous, never pure form, and, similarly, that architecture is not a matter of style and cannot be reduced to a language."
Bernard Tschumi

The title of Luisa Lambri's exhibition "Blind Room" comes from the term that Alvar Aalto used to define closed spaces, rooms which were not hit by natural light. In his interior architectures Aalto was able to create (artificially) a type of lightning which seemed natural.

As in a parallel series that Luisa Lambri shot inside the so-called "Infinite Corridor" of M.I.T. in Boston, her photographs always deal with interiors as a metaphor for a private state of being, although the iconography of architecture is always visible. Luisa Lambri has always insisted on defining her shots as "portraits of mental spaces." Pictures of corridors, halls, deserted spaces often read as a precarious projection of an imperfect self.

As a matter of fact, several essays by theoreticians — such as Mike Davis (City of Quartz, Vintage Books, NY 1990), Bernard Tschumi (Architecture and Disjunction, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge 1996) or Paul Shepheard (The Cultivated Wilderness Or, What is Landscape?, Graham Foundation/M.I.T. Press, 1997) — speak about recent changes in architecture and urban planning according to emotive conditions.The contemporary landscape is therefore shaped by social practices, by preoccupations and fears that we transfer, in some way, in the construction of our own landscapes.

Alvar Aalto is not the first master Luisa Lambri has pursued with her camera: we have to mention Giuseppe Terragni and Aldo Rossi and the architectures of Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn (which she collected in her book Plan Libre, 1997). As always the images of Lambri result in an architecture that is a particular and personal biography.
Gianni Romano

All images: courtesy of The Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art, Helsinki.

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