ELENA DAMIANI

 

 

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‘What one was’ presents the hypothetical disappearance of The Gateway Arch built by the Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen, in St. Louis, Missouri. The double-spread shows a diagram of an immense inverted steel catenary arch to the side of a photograph of the arch’s construction site where its foundations seem to have been removed. The paper surface has been intervened in a manner comparable to that of an archaeological excavation by carving pages in order to discover words from the layers underneath shaping a text, which describes in an ambiguous manner the vanishing of this monument.


Elena Damiani art collage architecture book

What once was. Carved book. 2009.

 

This piece portrays a critical concern with regards to how architecture can shape the urban landscape and generates landmarks of great iconic significance to a city, and presents the question of what would happen to a cityscape if a monument of these proportions disappears. Such shifts in the urban fabric could underline how large-scale constructions become definitive icons for a city not only because of what they stand for, but also because of their magnitude in proportion to their surroundings.



Elena Damiani art collage architecture book

What once was. Carved book. 2009.

Elena Damiani art collage architecture book

What once was. Carved book. 2009.