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Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's "raw, often neglected" side

Czech Republic Architecture News - Sep 04, 2023 - 16:54   1747 views

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

In the 2022 summer, Iwan Baan, a world-renowned architecture photographer, visited and photographed Prague for the first time in his life. 

For 7 days, Baan captured the city with his camera in hand – on foot, on a bike, and from a helicopter - through the center, the periphery, and the landscape along the Vltava River in Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic

The world-renowned photographer Iwan Baan presented his work, showing the city's "raw, often neglected" side, and miles away from the glossy pictures in tourist guides. 

The exhibition, entitled Iwan Baan: Prague Diary, was on view until 20 August at the Centre for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning (CAMP).

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

The exhibition was conceived as an imaginary urban pilgrimage, permeated by four thematic levels – first contact with the city, the center, the periphery, and natural scenery. 

The visitor was free to wander through them and get lost in its various nooks. 

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

A large-format projection of the exhibition hall was dedicated to Baan's aerial photographs – visitors to the exhibition thus have the unique opportunity to see Prague from unusual angles and in unsuspected contexts. 

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

On the opposite wall of the exhibition hall, the exposition revealed almost all the photographs that Iwan Baan took in Prague. Raw, unedited, random. 

Accompanied by an audio commentary by Iwan Baan himself, the visitor could thus get a glimpse into the "behind the scenes" of the photographer's creative method.

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

"I always try to get to know each new city in a very intuitive way. I try to let go of different expectations and draw inspiration directly from the place itself and the encounters that happen here," said Iwan Baan. 

"It's good to visit landmarks and think about why that particular place is important to people, but at the same time you also need to turn your gaze in the other direction and observe what's happening where people actually live. I would say that this kind of interaction is perhaps even more important in capturing the story of the city," Baan added.

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

"Iwan Baan does not limit his photographs of Prague merely to notorious and sought-after locations but focuses also on the neglected ones. He also maps important brownfields such as the Žižkov Freight Station or the Vltavská metro area and captures them in their raw state," said Ondřej Boháč, Director of the Prague Institute of Planning and Development.

"Baan focuses on buildings near the river, industrial buildings, transport infrastructure, islands, the landscape, and the busy and quiet life around it. From the contradictions he creates a mosaic which he has used to put together an urban portrait that visitors can see at the exhibition in CAMP," Boháč added.

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

"Prague is of course significantly defined by its landscape - especially by the shape of the flowing river on whose banks the city was gradually built," Baan continued. 

"It is interesting that even though you cannot see the river from many places, you constantly feel its presence in the city. It is in aerial photographs that this interrelationship between the city and the river comes out very well." 

"For me as a photographer, these moments are very valuable because they give me what I am looking for - the connection of details to the whole," Baan added.

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

The title of the exhibition "Iwan Baan: Prague Diary" is based on the caption "A diary of travels with the iPhone" on the artist's Instagram account. 

The idea of endless wanderings through the city from one end to the other, recorded in the form of a pictorial diary, has been part of the Prague exhibition concept since the initial idea of a joint project.

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

"The historical architecture of Prague reminds me a lot of big metropolises like London or Paris. 

But what's different here is a certain contrast between that grandiose urbanism with its grandiose architecture and the sort of very pleasant relaxedness of the rest of the city," said Iwan Baan about Prague.

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

Iwan Baan releases his Prague Diary showing the city's

Iwan Baan will also present his first large retrospective at an exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum from 21 October 2023 to 03 March 2024 in Weil am Rhein, Germany. 

He recently photographed the Museum Of Art and Photography (MAP), known as India's Silicon Valley, which opened to the public earlier this year. 

French architect Jean Nouvel's National Museum of Qatar was captured through the lens of Iwan Baan in new images in 2018.

Exhibition facts

Exhibition name: Iwan Baan: Prague Diary

Author: Iwan Baan

Client: The Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR Prague)

Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Exhibition location: CAMP, Vyšehradská 2075/51, 128 00 Prague, Czech Republic

All images © Iwan Baan.

> via CAMP 

exhibition Iwan Baan photography