Australian photographer Tom Blachford presents the latest instalment of his series of modernist architecture photography Midnight Modern, a body of work that captures iconic Palm Springs mid-century residences in the chilling light of a full moon. Used to seeing these modernist landmarks in the harsh light of the desert sun, we are mesmerised by Blachford’s nocturnal images and their mysterious atmosphere reminiscent of a classic American film noir setting. The photographer was granted unprecedented access to modernist masterpieces like the Menrad Residence and the recently restored Kaufmann House, which in turn allowed him to play with interior lighting and even include period automobiles in some of the shots.
Blanchford’s Midnight Modern series could be presented in no better setting than the exclusive Menrad Residence in Palm Springs, as a one-day-only exhibition and tour on Friday 20 February 2015, as part of the city’s Modernism Week festival. Founded in 2006, Palm Springs Modernism Week is an organisation that seeks to foster appreciation of mid-century architecture and design; its signature annual February event is a ‘festival’ of modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture that features over 100 events. This year, the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary, and will take place between 12-22 February 2015.
Midnight Modern - Artist’s Statement
‘‘My latest series is my most involved to date and took an uncharacteristic amount of patience and dedication. Shot over three separate trips to Palm Springs, California, the images explore the relationship between the moonlight, the forms of the houses and the mountains as backdrop. The naked eye is unable to process such dimly lit scenes; but the camera, through long exposure, reveals images unseen. Time is compressed from thirty seconds into one viewable moment. The stars blur into dashes to remind us that even seemingly immovable steel and mountains are slowly spinning on a grand scale as our earth rotates on its axis, and in turn around the sun.’’