According to the ancient Roman architect Vetruvius,
the precise mathmatical relationships that exist in the human body
should be followed in architecture.
Body / Building explores the correlation between human
and architectural forms through an examination of the male nude
photography of Jeff Palmer and the architectural abstracts of Ken
PHD hosts this exhibition of black & white photography and
will hang nearly two dozen works by each artist.
These are two accomplished photographers who focus on radically
different subject matter with similar sensibilities.
The work of both is about structure and relationships, in literal,
figurative and poetic terms. Their work is built on the broad and
strong tradition of using the human form and the form of the built
environment to document who we are. The work is designed to intentionally
encourage us to see in ways that we are not used to seeing. They
challenge us to more clearly understand who we are and what we value.
In the process we will be required to reassess our own sensibilities.
Like many artful endeavors, their work can be provocative and for
some, may even offend.
Both are reductivists, inclined to represent just enough so that
we are encouraged/obliged to imagine the rest: the rest of the building,
the rest of the body, but most importantly, the rest of the story.
We have been exploring the structure of the human body and the
structure of buildings for a very long time and we have been trying
to represent them for just as long.
In many instances, representations have been combined. Nude figures,
male and female, have adorned buildings in almost every culture
since antiquity, often in explicitly provocative ways. Indian temples,
classical sculpture and painting are dense with images that assault
the puritan ethic.
We have also been on a continuous search to (re)define the ideal
for both; body, building and relationships.
Those ideals have evolved from culture to culture and from epoch
In western culture, we study the Greek ideal, the Roman ideal,
the ideal of the Renaissance and on through modernity. The historic
ideals are substantively different from one another, but we have
tended not to be too discriminating and seem to be willing to "mix
and match" at will. We romanticize those antecedents and are
still inclined to copy them rather than develop contemporary standards
that would have the potential to serve as precedents for future
Palmer and Konchel are proposing that there are new ideals, new
relationships, and new possibilities.