Abelardo Morell - Camera Obscura (1st Edition)
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HB, 112 pages,
First edition 2004
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Abelardo Morell, author of last year’s award-winning A Book of Books, makes magical camera obscura images in darkened interiors. The deceptively simple process—he blacks out all of the windows leaving just a pinhole opening in one of them—produces photographs of astonishing, complex beauty. Due to the nature of refracted light, the world outside his darkened room is projected, upside-down, onto the interior space within which he works, converting the room, in effect, into the interior of a camera. Morell then photographs the results with a large-format view camera, often requiring exposures of eight hours or more. Locations around the world were chosen for the interesting details and juxtapositions they would elicit—the Empire State Building lies across a bedspread in a midtown Manhattan interior; the Tower of London is imprinted on the walls of a room in the Tower Hotel; the countryside in rural Cuba, Morell’s birthplace, plays across the walls of a crumbling interior that is rich with the patina of its own history. Every image is full of surprises and revelations.