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Elfie Semotan

328 pages
Distanz Verlag Gmbh Llc
The Austrian artist Elfie Semotan (b. 1941; lives and works in New York and Vienna) also works as a photographer, creating portraits of models, artists, landscapes, and studios that have earned her international renown. "Wien Mitte" is her first portrait of a building. The office and shopping complex is the largest new structure built in central Vienna in over a century. The core of the book consists of around 150 photographs of Semotan took during the unusually long period from the start of construction in 2008 until the completion of the complex in 2013. Defying the conventions of traditional architecture photography, Semotan traces the building's genesis with the characteristic keen eye for ambivalence that has distinguished her work for leading fashion magazines and and designers like Helmut Lang. The resulting photographs capture moments in which the unequivocal quality of the scenery is upset. The photographic essay is accompanied by converstaions between Elfie Semotan and Max Hollein, the architect Laurids Ortner, and Bart Lootsma, as well as an interview between the journalist Kimberly Bradley and the real estate developer Thomas Jakoubek.