Chris Mottalini – After You Left – They Took It Apart
Copyright 2013 Chris Mottalini
Photographer: Chris Mottalini (b. Buffalo, NY – resides Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Published by The Center for American Places/Columbia College Chicago Press
Essays: Allison Arieff, Charlie and Marlene Cerrito
Hardcover book with tipped in photograph, sewn binding, four-color lithography, Notes on the Plates, printed in Singapore
Photobook designer: Center for American Places
Notes: The subtext for the book title, Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes, reveals the subject of Chris Mottalini’s investigation; various homes built by the 1950’s avant-garde architect Paul Rudolph which are documented just prior to demolition.
Mottalini uses an objective documentary style to investigate the Rudolph architecture as a design element situated within a landscape, but also a study of aging and impermanence. Rudolph’s designs were the cutting edge of the 50’s and 60’s, severe in style and now the materials of construction and infrastructure appear dated and left languishing. Mottalini focuses on the unique architectural details of these period structures, as one would construct a portrait. The wiring and technical infrastructure appear aged and in need of some care, like some wonderful beauty marks, but instead the structures are rendered absolute, ignored and essentially discarded.
The book is laid out in a clean classic design, the photographs framed by sufficient white margins and with sub-chapters dedicated to each subject. One nagging detail with the layout of this book and creating a small bit of confusion, the pages are numbered, while the plates are not, and yet the index refers to the plate numbers which are not the same as the page numbers. So with a little image counting, you can eventually figure it out.