The Dubai Book (2014) Hatje-Cantz Publisher

“The Dubai”, Hatje-Cantz, 23x34 cm, 144 p., 2014

 

The pictures gathered together in this book were taken by the German photographer Tor Seidel be-tween 2008 and 2014, before, during, and after the financial crisis that hit Dubai with full force in 2009. Seidel’s photos are to a certain extent documents of an extreme situation, providing evidence of the impact it had on Dubai’s urban space and topology. However, it would be shortsighted to label Seidel’s photographs as mere contemporary records or as quasi scientific instruments of a visual urban anal-ysis, although they by all means are. I would like to suggest that these impressive photographs—digitally reworked in an elaborate process—be read instead as an artistic examination of the visual aesthetics and codes of which Dubai’s “official” cityscape makes use in its well-known suggestive visualizations. Martino Stierli