This thought-provoking urban architecture project was selected as a finalist in the LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2016. Discover more inspiring work from all the winners, jurors’ picks and finalists.

This project is about the poetry of space found in rural regions. For this series, I worked in many European countries; I traveled from village to village and traversed more than 20,000 miles in total.

My work is also related to Arthur Danto’s idea of art in his book, The Transfiguration of the Commonplace. As the main motif of this project, I chose to photograph common spaces in small towns away from traffic routes. I concentrate on both their material and immaterial qualities. “Topophilia” exemplifies a set of ideas put forth by Danto: that art makes ordinary things peculiar, that it defamiliarizes familiar things, and that artworks have both material and immaterial constituents.

There are no people in these photographs, yet immanent in all of them is a sense of human presence. The full series contains 70 photographs, with images from Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia and Spain.

—Peter Braunholz

Editor’s note: The series will be published in a book/monograph
titled “Photographic Realities” by the renowned publisher Kehrer Verlag. The book will include an essay by Gérard A. Goodrow, former Director of Art Cologne, and will be available in both English and German worldwide.

Upcoming exhibitions of the work include:

SF CAMERAWORK | LensCulture Street Photography Awards | Nov 15-19 | San Francisco, USA
ART PROJECTS | Group exhibition | November 25-28 | Frankfurt, Germany
GALERIE ANJA KNOESS | BLACK ICE | Group show | December 10th – January 10th, 2017 | Cologne, Germany