Amir Zaki, Relics, (2010)
A fascinating series shot in 2010, Amir Zaki’s ‘Relics’ show shuttered beach towers, presumably closed during the off-season, making them appear like weird self-contained capsules or miniature elevated mausoleums. Zaki, living and working in Southern California, describes the architecture and surrounding landscape of this part of America as “an evolving bastardization of styles and forms - in other words, a pastiche” and his work explores and attempts to subvert these architectural styles. Perhaps his artist’s statement says it best: “The work begins with the familiar, by looking at objects, structures and locations that are often pedestrian and banal. And by capitalizing on the presumed veracity that photographs continue to command, along with the transformative yet invisible digital alterations he employs, his images depict structures that aspire to be added to the list of the hodge-podge, built landscape that creates the Southern California mythology.”
So perhaps what we see here are not simply shuttered beach towers, but actually more complicated, altered photographs, with Zaki creating a new and fascinatingly functionless type of building.