Enigmatic assemblages: Follies at the intersection of architecture and photography

Thumbnail Image
Other Title
Pretty, Annabel
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
photography of architecture
architectural representation
hyperreality in architectural representation
visual realism
fantastical architecture
Pretty, A. (2021). Enigmatic assemblages: Follies at the intersection of architecture and photography, Asylum 2021, 166-173
Hyperreal architectural photographic assemblages proliferate within contemporary media: artists, photographers and architects envision digital worlds that operate at the intersection of hyperreal architectural renders, artistic media and photography. The manifestation of these assemblages can be examined in the works of French artist Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy (1986–), and Canadian artists Carl Zimmerman (1951–) and David Trautrimas. Gaudrillot-Roy’s assemblages from the series Façades #3 interrogate the notion of architectural form, how buildings impose and connect with their environments. The photographs present the buildings in a superficially twilight aesthetic; the viewer’s immediate glance registers a possible reality, but a second glance confirms the flattened buildings can only be a discourse on the enigmatic notion of spatial qualities. Zimmerman’s photographic practice questions the notion of imagined environments by using the mechanism of the folly or ruin within a utopian world. In contrast, Trautrimas’s assemblages use pastiche, montage and collage to extend on both Zimmerman’s and Gaudrillot-Roy’s images, creating surreal utopian possibilities that transform an actuality by creating and manipulating spatial qualities, redefining how we conceive and perceive space. These pluralistic assemblages draw insights and multiple narratives, as digital architecture has become pervasive and ubiquitous in the search for spatial properties. Unique and enigmatic narratives are constructed, allowing investigations to further the Deleuzian concept of ‘assemblage’ (in French, agencement). This paper aims to shed light on how this contradiction is a central engine for the articulation of relevant discourses and narratives, which have a significant impact on contemporary spatial conception and practices, and push the creative research beyond the limits of the mere superposition that one experiences daily with the digital augmentation of reality.
Unitec ePress
Copyright holder
Copyright notice
All rights reserved
Copyright license
Available online at
This item appears in: