Featuring Architectural Photographer Ben Hosking ⏤ The Tyranny of Distance
In Australia, there is a term bandied about, in the recesses of our cultural imagination, called the ‘Tyranny of Distance’. Originally coined by George Blainey to title his book on Australia’s economic history published in 1966, it was used and still is to emphasize how Australia’s geographical remoteness shapes its identity – how this distance infuses the way in which we look at ourselves, especially in relation to others. It suggests an inherent self-consciousness within the Antipodean mindset, that tells of our desire to be closer to where the action is.
It is fitting that Melbourne-based architectural photographer, Ben Hosking, would pick up this phrase to title a portfolio of his personal works, a series of images on the work of Cambodian modernist Architect Van Molyvann May and Le Corbusier’s modernist city of Chandigarh in India. Because despite the tyranny of distance of being behind the camera lens, whether Hosking is photographing the smallest of details – a stray dog on his hind legs, sniffing around against a turmeric coloured wall, phosphorescent ferns gasping for air amidst dewy concrete fissures or larger vistas – the panorama of a barren stadium, with two men barely visible chatting in its circular centre, it is the intimacy and action of being human that Hosking expertly captures, when often no humans are seen at all.
Which is essentially what architectural photography is about, how our mammoth creations of steel and concrete encapsulates the desires, emotions and neuroses of being human.