A Palimpsest of the Modern Metropolis: Photographic Visions on the City

Having been - literally - obscured for two decades by the almost exclusive attention of the pictorialist photographer for the (rural) landscape, the modern city becomes, once again, a central topic in the modern photography between WWI and WWII. The city the modern photographer explores is not the same city as the one captured by his 19th century predecessor. The modern metropolis, the result of a different economic, sociological and architectural discourse, calls for a new approach. New strategies will be thought up in order to represent this new 'object'. For his own story of the city the modern photographer will take advantage of recent technological developments, which made it possible for the first time to photograph the passing urban scenes. In my PhD, rather than listing the new strategies, I intend to shed light on the underlying principles that structure these new visions. A new consciousness of the body is considered one of the principal forces that change the representation of the city.


Steven Humblet
Doctoral researcher at the University of Ghent
Ieperlaan 31
1000 Brussels
E: steven.humblet@mac.com