Flowers will present Michael Wolf's first solo exhibition in the
UK. Wolf's photographic work tackles the complexity of city life
through observations of how vernacular architecture and public
space are used. This exhibition will be constructed from the
following groups of work: Architecture of Density, Tokyo
Compression, Transparent City.
Architecture of Density is a study of Hong Kong's high rise
residential developments. The structures are photographed on large
format in extreme detail without the context of sky or ground. Some
buildings are seen in a state of repair or construction, adorned
with grids of bamboo scaffolding, and protective fabric.
These large scale works operate as studies in abstraction and
minimalism but offer an undeniable sociological context. On close
inspection we see architecture as a framework upon which its
inhabitants hang their personalities; clothes lines, bird feeders,
mops and air conditioning units appear to give the feeling of
peering into a human petri-dish.
Tokyo's subway is infamous for its cramped conditions but the
psychological effects of the uncompromising close human proximity
experienced daily by thousands of workers are rarely depicted.
Tokyo Compression captures the moment and reaction when individuals
are forcefully sandwiched between their fellow commuters and the
parameters of the carriage. Heads are bowed, sometimes contorted
unwillingly into unnatural positions of supposed rest. Noses,
fingers and knuckles are compressed against the glass, eyes are
almost always shut.
Transparent City depicts the architecture of both domestic and
office buildings in the city of Chicago - a place renowned for its
iconic towers. The structures are composed and compressed into
groups and surfaces rather than shown individually. Wolf's
distinctive views of Chicago can be thought of as metropolitan
hives and reveal manifold sub-narratives beyond each glossy facade.
Layered glass allows the viewer to discover fragments of life, just
decipherable, through the geometric patterns: a young girl appears
from underneath an office blind, parts of torsos and limbs are
cropped unnaturally by window frames, whilst views into rooms allow
us to peep into personal dwellings.