Piranesi Circus


The exhibit in the courtyard in the middle of the Chicago cultural centre has always made a strong impression on me.

I later found out that the work, the Piranesi Circus, was from the Chicago firm Woodhouse Tinucci Architects who worked with Tokyo-based Atelier Bow-Wow on the execution and construction of the project along with Thornton Tomasetti (structural); Chicago Scenic Studios (fabrication).

G.B. Piranesi’s Carceri d’Invenzione (Imaginary Prisons) influenced the work where the vast interior spaces can be considered a visual metaphor for the mind. I wanted to focus on the individual elements by reducing the composition by limiting exposure and tonality.

See also: http://www.woodtinarch.com/2015-cab Marguerite Yourcenar = (The Dark Brain of Piranesi)

I took the pictures in the summer of 2017 always around midday when the sum evenly illuminates the courtyard. Since access to the yard is limited, the images were shot through the windows and provided some reflection on the inner of the building.

The cantilevered balcony lurches out into the void and challenges the observer to enter.


The use of a ladder that leads nowhere provides a recollection of dreams where the subject works in some unending loop.

The swing/trapeze hangs waiting and expresses a feeling of desire.