Visual Acoustics, now on DVD
Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman is a documentary film by Eric Bricker, now available on DVD (US release).
Architectural photography is often questioned on ethical terms regarding the conflict between the objective documentation of the built environment and the creative endeavour of the photographer. There is an underlying misconception at work that resonates with the idea that photographs are taken instead of made, a notion that implies the sense that the images themselves are already there. This false impression disregards the fact that the task of the photographer extends far beyond the mere capture of the real; the very translation of the physical world into the realm of photography requires a complex thread of choices considering multiple factors such as composition, lighting and exposure.
In a world dominated by digital culture and the widespread use of composite technology, the work of Julius Shulman remains a tribute to the creative and visionary dimension of photography as art. His visual records of modern architecture and urban L.A. are a negation of neutrality, presenting both an ostentatious glamour and style as well as a personal sense of mise-en-scène. These calculated images, often introducing characters and implicit narratives, revealed an author actively committed to the pursuit of a modernist iconography.
Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman is a fascinating portrayal of the life and work of this self-taught master, revealing the memories and techniques behind his vision. The documentary revisits many of the houses photographed by Shulman in the past, capturing not only the buildings but the historical and sociological atmosphere that surrounded them. Trailer and additional details after the jump. Click to expand. [+/-]