Vancouver Photographer Brings the City to Venice Biennale
Local photographer Andrew Latreille took five years to produce his latest photo exhibit, on the impact of architecturally significant buildings in Vancouver.
Over the last few weeks in Venice, hundreds of people crowded into the theatrical rooms of the Arsenale and the Main Pavilion at Giardini for the opening of the 16th annual Venice Architecture Biennale, the world’s most prestigious international architecture competition boasting global talents working around the concept, “Freespace.”
According to the curators of the exhibit, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, the one-word theme aims to celebrate architectural designs that have the ability to encompass elements of openness and freedom.
In response to this year’s theme, Vancouver-based architectural photographer Andrew Latreille channelled his talents to capture “Freespace” designs as both the remembrance of the past, and optimism for the future. Featured in the fourth edition of the Biennale’s collateral exhibition, “Time Space Existence,” Latreille’s work, “Then and Now” explores the impact of architecturally significant buildings in Western Canada like AIBC award winner, Langara College Science and Technology, Wilson School of Design, Rough House, MacBride Museum, and Vancouver House.Inspired by the craft movement and intrigued by the building process, Latreille took to taking unfinished bits of the city to showcase a way of life often overlooked by the public and might be lost if not preserved.
“There’s a prevalent habit in this day and age to just fire off a million photographs in a day … we’re inundated by images that all look the same,” Latreille says. “But in the end, what a photograph’s got to do is convey the atmosphere of the space to the person that’s looking.”
Latreille’s love of photography dates back to primary school, where an influential teacher piqued an interest in the art. He studied photography alongside his high school diploma and bachelor’s degree in architecture—the latter no doubt a contributor to his ability to truly understand how a building should be photographed. Now, seasoned and experienced, Latreille is making his mark on the community.
“It’s been a long-time project,” Latreille says, noting that the collection of photographs was an amalgamation of five to six years. “They’re all buildings that I photographed during construction.”
“It’s an honour,” Latreille says. “Just get out there … understand what it is you’re trying to convey, what’s in front of you. Every time you press that shutter button, it’s got to have meaning.”
Latreille’s photographic exhibition will be on display until November 18, 2018. To view more of the works, head to andrewlatreille.com.