Architecture of Cities: the New Cathedrals, Part Two

Jean Nouvel: Arab World Institute.

My story has always been about the about the Moors and Romans. My story has always been about Charlton Heston and Kirk Douglas fighting the just fight: They fought side by side (albeit) in different films.

My hurried education:

Sophia Loren and Jean Simmons were my muses before I was old enough to know…

Cultural wars were beginning to say hello.

I look back in time and douse the years in calendars from yesterday and tomorrow.

What’s the difference between where and how are minds amass time:

I had, one day completed the dystopian novel A Canticle for Leibowitz when I realized I needed a hero to place the reset button in my mind: I needed to take a deep breath and cheer for heroic deeds. I am pretty certain I wouldn’t be making images of any kind if it weren’t for El CID and Spartacus.

Herzog and de Meuron Parrish Art Museum: Water Mill New York.

As you can see my childhood’s visual playgrounds to my professional endeavors was not too big of a leap: My life has been an attempt  to make a cinematic narrative with each frame my camera sees: Not necessarily to tell a heroic story, but to certainly make photographs with every efforts I have in my body: My camera’s aperture opens, my mind makes a movie.

Every day I find myself landing at my own caravan serai: It is a place in mind in spirit where I play in my mind the past and future passions for architecture. Somewhere in the distance, I can hear the straight-jackets.

Daniel Libeskind: Denver Art Museum.

The calamity and dystopia A Canticle for Liebowitz played in my mind has somewhat vanished: Obviously youthful memories don’t die.The calamity of a dystopian world needed to be shaken from this youthful memory banks: I am well aware that the romance of epic battles and storied adventures influenced me to the hilt: But just maybe so did the cracker science fiction I saw in The Blob.

My memories don’t always correspond to the way I dream: But I find just satisfaction in the greater tales: What is the point in telling stories about architecture without mingling fantasies? The fantasies are much more present in my reality. I am not certain when the written word tickled my brain a bit: Facts and fictions have danced numerous tangos throughout my mind: Language and my visual appetite have become grand companions while adrift: Adrift hunting for the camera capture.

Richard Meier Getty Museum.

When I am with my camera, I am alone. When you are alone in the world, it is not what you know, it is about what you don’t know about the world. This is when you lean forward, lean as close as you can: To what may be the truth in photography: Not in what I may see but what I know I feel.

I have mapped out many approaches to photographing architecture: I have at times felt equally like Rommel and Patton. I have drawn maps across continents  to the nth degree: I have tried to be practical crossing every line of longitude and latitude: Unfortunately I am an amalgamation of dozens of mammals in heat: My entire circuit system goes into overdrive as I near my intended capture. I wish I could master the laconic Sam Spade: But you need a certain amount of verve as you make your approach:

The Pritzker recipient Eduardo Souto de Moura dropped me off at the Pritzker recipient Alvaro Siza’s Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves: I knew these two giants of architecture are great friends: Eduardo thought enough of my stay in Porto to share what he referred to as his mentor and friends’ great accomplishment: For me entering was like entering a modern cathedral:

The mass of Renzo Piano enthusiasts referred to the intimate  Beyeler Foundation almost as a cathedral of intimate prayer: Ernst Beyeler was very curious to see how I might capture this quiet collection.

Almost every architect I have met has had a voice in how I might interpret their creations:I realize the most about my eyes when my hand is held and pointed as if I was a Wirehaired Pointing Griffin: a bit shaggy and determined.

Alone and lost in my mind and on just about any map, is when my camera is at its best: I take pictures to find my way: I take pictures to find myself: There is always a shutter clicking when I hear the word “suddenly”. I have found what I have been looking for: Frank Gehry motioned forward: Richard Meier motioned forward: Both architects embraced the photograph that had not been taken before: This Madhatter has found his way: Not the road taken but the single frame that defined the significance of cross-crossing the globe for architecture.

All photos by Richard Schulman.

Richard Schulman is a photographer and writer. His books include Portraits of the New Architecture and Oxymoron & Pleonasmus. He lives in New York City.