Compressed Life: Michael Wolf
In this conversation, which originally took place at the 2018 edition of Photo London, Michael Wolf talks to academic and critic Francis Hodgson. They discuss Wolf’s practice, which made maximum use of twenty-first-century photographic technology and tools in interesting ways.
Wolf’s work focuses on the architecture and vernacular culture of city living, often in megacities such as Hong Kong and Tokyo. He was happy to use modern imaging systems, such as Google Street view, or to incorporate vernacular art. He was a photographer of the new expanded photography, as much a curator, editor and collector as a user of traditional cameras. Some of his work deals with densely packed housing, where architecture becomes abstracted into planes of lines and colours, and the human dimension is almost lost. At other times, as in his famous series Tokyo Compression, which treats the experience of commuters taking the Tokyo trains, he looked at the physical consequences of overpopulation on a human scale.
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