Jürgen Beck: Sun Breakers

Designed by Irish architect and designer Eileen Gray (1878–1976), E-1027 has only recently taken on the status of an architectural icon. Jürgen Beck’s photographs of the house approach the building as if in search of something. He captures the overgrown paths that he walks to take him to the house, while steering clear of views of the coast and the Côte d’Azur beach and avoiding long shots, as these would falsely enlarge the space, which was designed as an intimate place for work and leisure activities. This establishes a dialogue between the photographs and the architecture; just like Gray herself in the space she designed, the pictures are in search of an expression of openness that admits other forms of life and work, a flexible structure to accommodate the rhythm of the days and everyday situations. Beck directs our eye to a design that takes into consideration people’s psychological and emotional needs and gives things their own name and their own relationships. The images are accompanied by an essay by Swiss author Dorothee Elmiger, who extends Beck’s view of Gray by introducing fragments of text that switch between analysis and impressionistic accounts.