July 22, 2007

How to photograph a grand achievement...

... to show contempt.

AND: Looking at this photograph, I'm thinking it may be impossible to photograph this thing without seeming to show contempt.

20 comments:

Joseph Hovsep said...

It looks post-apocalyptic to me, which I suppose is a flavor of contempt.

rhhardin said...

It's not as if they gave the building's height in camels (277 cm.).

Dust Bunny Queen said...

For some reason both of those photos made me recall the Tower of Babel.

Zeb Quinn said...

Serious smog problem in Dubai.

XWL said...

It will look different with its skin on. A good photo of the artists renderings can be found at the wiki.

It's not yet to its full height, if the wiki is right, they still have more than 120 meters to go.

Here's a site more favorably disposed to the tower.

For this recent picure of the tower, I have no explanation.

Also, the 'mine is bigger' syndrome is in full play. There's plans for another supertall tower in Dubai, Al Burj that will top at 1200m (3/4 of a mile!).

Sissy Willis said...

The second image is anyplace and no place. The first, by contrast, expresses the spirit of the place, the tension between old and new at the heart of Arabian societies.

halojones-fan said...

XWL: Those artist's renderings also depict the tower with a clear, perfect blue sky in the background, and an Edenic green landscape around it.

If they showed the reality--as these pictures do--they'd have to show the dust storms and smog and slums, and it would be much less impressive.

Also: I like how they had to put a 400-foot tower on top just so they could claim that it was the "world's tallest building".

amba said...

Wasn't the Tower of Babel right around there somewhere?

Galvanized said...

I'm kind of embarrassed to point it out, but it appears to be an uncircumcised megaphallic symbol...or a grand gesture to the rest of the world from Middle Eastern developers.

Revenant said...

What's the point of having a 30-mile panoramic view of a place that's that ugly and desolate? Bravo for them for pulling it off, but personally I wouldn't want to live or work there.

Synova said...

I think the picture with the camels manages to make the structure look somewhat grand, actually.

In broader terms, I think it would be grand if various sorts in the middle east got competitive about just how grand and modern they can be.

Gahrie said...

Dubai is fast on its way to becoming a combination of the Middle East's version of Hong Kong, Las Vegas and Orlando wrapped into one. They are spending billions on producing the infrastucture to make it the destiniation for the rich and famous. They are the example of the one country taking the petro dollar and investing it for the future.

Chip Ahoy said...

These photographs, plus those linked in the comments, make skyscrappers at the Poles seem reasonable. Tall edifices under the oceans would have better views.

Jeff said...

The phrase "lipstick on a pig" comes to mind; in this case "lipstick on a camel" might be apropos...

Galvanized said...

In all fairness, there was a memorable spread on Dubai in National Geographic last January, and the pics were striking, as well as the background on the place. It is incredible the disparity of the people, with immigrant workers stuck in a kind of slavery there, living in slums, until their debts are paid. Did anyone else read/see it?

demian said...

I don't think the photographer was contemptuous. He was probably struck by the contrast of old Mideast (the camel) and new(skyscraper), and sought to juxtapose them.

Unfortunately, it meant including powerlines and shooting into the sun. The result is a mess, though he's probably proud of the image.

Telecomedian said...

Gahrie is right about Dubai's massive building spree, but they maintain that less than 5% of their revenues come from oil.

The construction and architectural progress in that country is amazing, but I have to wonder if the country will find enough tenants for all that office, retail and residential space. It's amazing to see them build another Palm island, but can they enough folks to live there?

Galvanized said...

telecomedian, building a native population in this fabricated city is indeed a concern. That's why the government hosts mass weddings between the wealthy families that are privileged enough to permanently reside there.

Original Mike said...

Good lord, what a target. They better be paying Al Qaeda some serious protection money.

Thumper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.