Burj Khalifa Under Construction, 2008
From the Emirates Project, 2007-2011
Inkjet Print, 20 x 14 inch image on 22 7/8 x 14 7/8 inch paper
Signed Edition of 30
Philippe Chancel’s aerial image of Dubai was taken in 2008 as the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, was being erected. The now iconic structure is one of many notable buildings that have rapidly transformed the city’s skyline during two decades of explosive construction. Chancel’s photograph is strangely surreal, with a desaturated palette that is reminiscent of an architectural drawing or a ghostly ruin. By making the real appear vacant, he pointedly collapses the process by which cities move from plan to reality, and ultimately into decay.
Chancel lives and works in Paris. He has an extensive, international exhibition record including shows at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2015); Galerie FO.KU.S, Innsbruck, Austria (2014); Galerie Fait & Cause, Paris (2012); Saatchi Gallery, London (2012); Columbia University, New York City (2011); and The Empty Quarter Gallery, Dubaï, United Arab Emirates (2011). He has published several monographs including Philippe Chancel: Desert Spirit, which was first released in 2010 and features Burj Khalifa Under Construction as a cover image on later editions.