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(dis)location

Photographer Filip Dujardin's solo exhibit blurs the line between architectural fact and fiction

by Graham Hiemstra in Culture on 08 February 2013

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With his wonderfully imaginative architectural "photomontages," artist Filip Dujardin addresses questions of what might have been and what's still to come. Pulling solely from his extensive archive of his own photographs of buildings, urban spaces and landscapes, the Belgian artist dissects and meticulously reassembles images—with the assistance of computer retouching—to create an augmented reality of near-believable structures in bizarrely complementary environments.

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Dujardin's second solo exhibition at San Francisco's Highlight Gallery, "(dis)location," opens today, 8 February. Comprised of two unique yet cohesive bodies of work, the show features images originally shot in the French coastal town of Deauville and in the Portugese city of Guimaraes, the 2012 European Capital of Culture.

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Relying on a background in art and architectural history, Dujardin picks and pulls organic textures and gradients to seamlessly blur the line of reality, a talent demonstrated to perfection in the first series of (dis)location, "D'ville." Created to establish a parallel between the world Dujardin sees and the one that exists in Deauville, the images depict lonely, yet natural shorelines interrupted by stark, cold, man-made structures. The resulting images are perhaps the most convincing of the lot.

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The second series, "Guimaraes: Transgenic Landscape" captures the northern Portuguese city in a polarizing light, transplanting chaotic urban structures into the somewhat serene rural environment. Not only do these images play with the eye, they act as a prompt to the conversation surrounding de-ruralization and cultural norms. The collection of fictional structures clashs perfectly.

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Open through 29 March 2013 at San Francisco's Highlight Gallery, Dujardin's (dis)location is one not to miss for art, design and architecture enthusaists alike. For more images from the show see the slideshow, and to learn more about Filip Dujardin's photomontages see his personal site.

Images courtesy of Filip Dujardin and Highlight Gallery

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