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An exhibition at TH13 by photographer Patrick Messina offers a new perspective on the urban environment. A Journey highlights architectural motifs in metropolises around the world, imbuing them with a striking, unreal quality.
Sensitive to the ever-changing urban environment and its forms, Patrick Messina presents his personal vision in A Journey, a series exhibited at TH13 in Bern.
Fascinated by signage, contemporary architecture and artifical light – his core motifs – Messina frequently steps outside conventional urban imagery to take a more aesthetic approach, examining our perception of ‘the city’ itself. Using strong, directional lighting, unusual angles and tricks of scale, his works depict urban environments around the world, all with a characteristically strange, unreal air.
Noted for his striking press portraits of leading personalities, Patrick Messina applies the same technique in his personal, uncommissioned work, using a view camera to flatten the depth of field in his pictures and create large, unfocused areas around one, sharply defined section. This aesthetic treatment can be unsettling in pictures of urban environments: the city resembles an architectural model with a ‘suggestion of unreality’, in the words of the exhibition’s curator, Paul Cottin.
A Journey is Patrick Messina’s first Swiss exhibition of his ‘city portraits’ of Tokyo, New York, Chicago, Cape Town etc., alongside images of Bern commissioned specially for the show at TH13, by the Foundation. Trained at Paris’s Ecole Louis Lumière, Messina works regularly for clients in the press, industry and opera.