Hiroshi Sugimoto

I love dioramas. You’ve seen them: those peculiar artificial landscapes in crumbling old museums, studded with stuffed animals perched awkwardly in death. The best of them have a curious poignancy: long-dead creatures stuffed and posed by long-dead men, half-abandoned, half-derided by our interactive digital age. This is beautifully illustrated by the work of Hiroshi Sugimoto, whose photographs of dioramas — real pictures of fake landscapes — feel like postcards from the past:

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There’s a different kind of poignancy to Sugimoto’s pictures of old movie houses, reminders of a time when a film was not a squirt of pixels, but a community event. These photographs were taken during actual cinema screenings, each exposure exactly the length of the film. They have a slightly haunted feeling, a touch of The Purple Rose of Cairo: the screen seems like a doorway to another universe:

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You can see more of Sugimoto’s work, and the thinking behind it, at his website: he’s modest, thought-provoking and inspiring and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

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