H-BLOCK: Social Housing – Ilse Bing

Exhibition, Hall cases, 5 September 2013 to 5 December 2013

In 1929, Ilse Bing bought a Leica camera and started a photographic career that took her from Frankfurt to New York via Paris. While still in Frankfurt, she was commissioned by architect and urban planner Mart Stam to undertake a photographic survey of the modern buildings that were being erected in the city, including the Henry and Emma Budge-Heim H-block building. Built according to Bauhaus precepts, with shared spaces and 106 rooms with personal terraces, the project set a precedent for many future construction projects for the elderly.

The light, versatile Leica eliminated the need for a tripod and made it easy for Bing to discover different and unusual perspectives, including high vantage points and close ups. In some cases she reveals her shadow or reflection in glass surfaces. This hall case display of the project, which is comprised of photographs in the CCA collection, shows how this camera helped her contribute to the formation of a new style of photography.

Curated by Paul Wombell, London. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Prison Housing: Donovan Wylie as part of the Mois de la photo à Montréal.

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