The Weight of Air: A Picture Parade of Peter Dickinson’s Buildings

Before his death at 35 in 1961, the modernist architect Peter Dickinson designed seventy-four built works, mostly in Toronto, many of which have been or are now being demolished or altered beyond recognition. For this photo-documentary project and book of the same title, the buildings were pursued with a collector’s desperation. Recording them in their present states, along with the people and animals that inhabit them and the sites of demolished buildings, the camera was used as it was in the very beginning: as a means to collect what is too big to pocket and take home.
The 341 photographs, drawn from some seventy thousand taken over the course of a year and a half, are organized according to thirty-one intuitive classifications.

The artist and curator Cliff Eyland wrote of this work:

“These pictures defy normal architectural photography, which is mostly promotional, for images that subvert the modernist idealism in the work and the documentation of modernist architects such as Peter Dickenson.”