Concrete Thinking – Underground Construction

“I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!”

Reinforced Concrete has become one of the defining building elements in the late Twentieth early Twenty First Century. Space defined by concrete slabs epitomises the sense of non-place and incidental corners which are typical of much of the urban environment we inhabit.

Concrete (mineral aggregate, cement and water) has become so commonplace that it is easily overlooked; as are the spaces defined by it’s block-like structures.
With the rise of its use, the material of choice and necessity for  functional construction, there is a merging of place.

On first appearance, passing glance, there is something cold and hard about unrendered concrete, yet looked at closely it is enriched by surface detail: water marks, aggregate details, drying blemishes, potmarks etc.

Concrete structures  demark urban spaces – from bayed car parks to walled compounds (to walled States).  Walls, partitions, boxed spaces, concrete cells, all represent psychological states of mind. They are places of confinement, contained spaces, and can be read further as places of anxiety: the anxiety of safeguarding seperate selves.

The images in this series of ‘Concrete Thinking: Urban Essays’ are drawn from diverse yet similar locations: the ubiquitous concrete car parks, lower recesses of new building developments,  road overpasses, mid-construction houses and abandoned silos; locations scattered: from the high Alps to London’s South Bank.


About barryfalk

I am a self-taught photographer based in West Sussex. I photograph ‘Incidental Spaces’, places tucked away and neglected: edges of car parks, junk-filled garages, loading bays, abandoned spaces, vacant rooms, ransacked offices. These are the overlooked details of a city: architectural features which appear to serve no function. My images seek to capture an aspect of the city which is not willingly acknowledged. These places can be read as metaphors for loss and as such are suffused with a disturbed sense of self, what Freud referred to as the unheimliche: the familiar which has become alienated through the process of repression. However, when re-seen, photographed from a particular angle, in a certain light, these incidental spaces turn out to be resonant with association.
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