The latest and final release in Australian photographer Tom Blachford’s long-running project, Midnight Modern, was exhibited for the first time at TOTH Gallery in New York in October 2018.
Loosening the shackles of Palm Springs and Mid Century, Blachford’s exhibition of 12 large scale works explored some of the outer reaches of the Modernist movement in Architecture, and captured using only the light of the full moon.
Blachfords series is a surreal ode to the landscapes of California and its cache of pristine Modernist buildings. Shot entirely at night, bathed in moonlight, the homes, vintage cars, and foliage appear as they have been captured in another space and time. Recognising the locations may be easy, but it is more difficult to identity when the image was actually taken, be this day or night, in the past, present, or future. The images act as portals in time where it seems these moments exist in all places at once.
For Blachford these unique residences act as the sets for infinite narratives, both real and imagined, which the viewer is invited to script for themselves. Each image acts as a still frame for a story about to start and end simultaneously.
California has a unique geography and climate, and this gives rise to a distinct deep blue sky: a hue of moonlight ideal for this approach to architectural photography. The long exposure allows the camera to capture a world just beyond our perception and distil it into a single moment.