From Fragmentation to Intimate Space: The Subversive Aesthetics of Olivier Ratsi’s Anarchitecture Photography

afterimage-vol42-n4FULL ARTICLE: Afterimage Vol. 42, no. 4

French multimedia artist Olivier Ratsi evokes doubt in the mind of the viewer by initiating an inquiry into representations of abnormal architecture. Concrete structures become mirages, reminders of temporality. The fragmented images are reflections on the fragility of appearance, anticipating interpretation and revealing the artifice of meaning.

The surrealistic forms in Ratsi’s photography are in dialogue with many innovative architectural theorists and practitioners who have been exploring the abstraction of form over the past forty years, most specifically borrowing the term “anarchitecture” introduced by New York avant-garde artist Gordon Matta-Clark in the 1970s. Ratsi represents a contemporary inclination toward the phenomenological within architecture, employing an aesthetic that rejects archetypal geometry and returns instead to the materialization of individual experience in urban space.