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Nightscapes

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Review

Nightscapes: Photographs of the Night Edited by Katharina Menzel. Hatje Cantz, 2001. 128pp. £22.50 (Distributor Art Books International 020 7953 8290)

As the photographer Brassai, haunter of nocturnal Paris, said: 'Night only suggests things, it doesn't fully reveal them. It unnerves us and surprises us with its strangeness.' At the same time, night, like snow, can simplify the world. In what it edits or obscures it is a source of order. 'We should know by now that when architects show their proposed buildings at night and with the lights on, they're worried what they'll look like by day, ' was Rowan Moore's comment on Grimshaw's proposed RCA extension (Evening Standard,30.5.01).

The work of nine photographers is featured in Nightscapes - the German/English catalogue to an exhibition held at the Stadthaus Ulm last autumn. Flooded with light, the housing estates in Dirk Königsfeld's shots could pass for film sets, while Nicolas Moulin's gridded ink-jet prints (pictured) create an eerie underworld.

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