Hélène Binet Dialoghi Catalogue

Shanghai Power Station of Art

From April 19 to July 21, 2019, Shanghai’s Power Station of Art presented “Hélène Binet: Dialoghi, works from 1988 to 2018”, the French-Swiss photographer’s first solo institutional exhibition in China. The exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of Binet’s accomplishment in more than 100 works of analogue photography, including some of the most iconic photos taken throughout her 30-year professional career and her newly commissioned series featuring the walls of Chinese Suzhou Gardens. This exhibition is accompanied by the first monograph on Binet to be published in Chinese. Marking a new direction of PSA’s “Architecture & City” exhibition and research program, “Dialoghi” (Dialogue) opens up a new standpoint for viewers to approach architecture through the art of light and shadow.

The exhibition looks back at Binet’s 30-year career by showcasing her depictions of iconic works by acclaimed architects including John Hejduk, Daniel Libeskind, Sigurd Lewerentz, Dimitris Pikionis, Ludwig Leo, Le Corbusier, Peter Zumthor and Zaha Hadid. By emphasizing the echo between architect and architect or between architect and landscape, Binet divides her works from different series into groups of two or three to form “dialogues” featuring varying themes. For example, when documenting the Jantar Mantar Observatory in Jaipur of India, and the Convent of Sainte-Marie de La Tourette designed by Le Corbusier, she focused the lens on the sharp contrast between light and shadow formed on building façades to cross-examine the line of difference between divinity and scientific limits; whereas at the other end of the showroom, the ever-extending curves of Zaha Hadid’s signature works highlighted by Binet deliver echoing effects against the boundless Atacama Desert and Swiss mountain views, where lurks a primitive force that promotes the formation of surface structures.