NOWHERE shows a world in which Instagrammability is first and foremost, in which the new reality is dictated by the seductive image that may (later) be made from it. Architecture, design, and urban landscape are directed by the mechanisms of global big business, and the same antiseptic beauty exists all over the world. NOWHERE—Imagining the Global City presents the work of Dutch photographer Frank van der Salm from the past twenty-five years. Designed by Irma Boom, the book shows a consumer-oriented, imaginary metropolis. Images, sometimes deliberately upside down, challenge the reality they represent. Seen together they form the image of a city that suddenly seems to be simultaneously everywhere and nowhere: both here and now and nowhere. The essays by Shumon Basar, Aaron Betsky, and Urs Stahel link Frank van der Salm’s oeuvre to the world of design, architecture, urban development, art, and photography.
About the photographer
Frank van der Salm, who was born in Delft in 1964, studied at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam. He travels all over the world to find his subjects. Rapidly growing metropolises in areas like southeastern Asia and the Gulf region are among his favorites. Occasionally Van der Salm collaborates with architectural firms such as OMA/Rem Koolhaas, Herzog & de Meuron, and MVRDV.
“During the paused time of the pandemic, Frank van der Salm’s images feel different. They take on the quality of prophetic realism. . . . His urban vistas, his bucolic landscapes, and his portraits of super modernity are mostly empty of human presence.” —Shumon Basar
“He is in no way an ‘architecture photographer’ in the classic sense. . . . Rather, he turns the thinking around and uses architecture to generate photographic images; he makes ‘photography with architecture’ . . . . He uses, to put it another way, architecture for his pictures.” —Urs Stahel
“These are photographs of something and art about something. They do not present this reality as being so alien, either in a surreal or a flat sense, that it is completely other or somewhere else. It is our here now and, if it is not your here and now, Van der Salm shows us, it will be soon.” —Aaron Betsky
This publication is supported by the Jaap Harten Fonds, Mondriaan Fund and the Breeman Talle Fund which is administered by the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund.