Initiative is a key word to describe El Alto, the recent publication by Peter Granser. As a self-taught photographer, Peter’s perspective on the work of Freddy Mamani Silvestre, additionally a self-taught architect, is a true representation of independent inventiveness.
Published by Edition Taube El Alto is a collection of photographs of Freddy’s buildings in Bolivia, inspired by indigenous Aymara culture and pre-Inca architecture. Since 2005 Freddy has built 60 houses in El Alto, the highest city in the world. These are lived-in artworks, built in areas that are still mostly deprived and inhabited by indigenous residents. The architect’s vision was to give the city it’s own identity, after years of suppression from Inca and Spanish control. Therefore, the buildings depict the cultural origins of those that live there.
As a photographer with 20 years of experience, Peter’s eye for creative composition is a majestic portrayal of the architect’s work. The publication, designed by Edition Taube’s design studio PARAT.cc renders the characteristics of the buildings into a piece of brilliantly bright printed matter.
The photographs run alongside an essay on the works by Winston Hampel from the AA School of Architecture, who describes the project incomparably, “baroque, extravagant, futuristic, flamboyant, psychedelic”.
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