Published by Radius Books. Interview by Anne Wilkes Tucker.
Chicago photographer Brad Temkin (born 1956) brings attention to the visual and ecological beauty of the transformation of water, by showing the structures and processes that most people do not even think about. Most storm water runoff is considered waste, yet more than 700 cities reclaim and reuse wastewater and storm water with combined sewer systems, recycling it for agricultural uses and even drinking water. As we mimic nature and separate the impurities like sludge, salt or chemicals, a transformation occurs. Temkin believes it matters less what each structure really is used for, or whether the water pictured is pure or waste. He is drawn to the strangeness of these forms and the distorted sense of scale. Moving beyond mere description, he embraces the abstract and surreal landscape of water transformation. Temkin has received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work, which is collected in museums throughout the United States.
Published by Radius Books. Text by John Rohrbach, Steven Peck, Roger Schickedantz.
Rooftop draws poetic attention to an important new movement that counters the heat-island effect occurring in cities. Green roofs reduce our carbon footprint and improve storm water control, but they do far more. They reflect the conflict of our existence, symbolizing the allure of nature in the face of our continuing urban sprawl. Temkin's images, shot in locations ranging from Chicago to Zurich, do more than merely document rooftop gardens. By securely situating the gardens within the steel, stone and glass rectangularity of urban downtown, he asks viewers to revel in their far more open patterns, colors and connection to the sky. Essays by John Rohrbach, Steven Peck and Roger Schickedantz address such things as the aesthetics and intent of the photographs, living architecture, design, sustainability and the idea of bringing nature into a new urban context.