James Casebere, Sea of Ice, 2014, ink-jet print, 41 3/8 x 52 3/8".

James Casebere

Galerie Templon | Brussels

James Casebere, Sea of Ice, 2014, ink-jet print, 41 3/8 x 52 3/8".

There’s a golden yet unspoken rule in architectural training and practice that scale models should be neither too realistic nor too detailed. Thus, trees and human figurines are just tolerable, but curtains, furniture, and other everyday features are questionable, if not prohibited. A model needs to retain a relative degree of abstraction as a material object to accomplish its conjectural quality—that is, to exemplify the project to which it gives scalar form. One of the most intriguing qualities of the architectural model is therefore how it balances materializing abstract plans with telling particular stories. This might explain its appeal to artists in the post-Conceptual era, as it allows for a material negotiation between idea and image, concept and object.

Over the past four decades, American artist James Casebere has built scale models, but only to photograph them. For

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