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The photos of Roel Backaert are no snapshots of reality, but careful studies of human traces in the urban landscape. His photography explores the man-made landscape, without showing the people who make and use it. [ ] Backaert's preference for machinery, vehicles, control rooms, construction sites and buildings can be interpreted as fascination for the sheer amount of controls humans manage to achieve over nature, production, people. This is not only achieved through engineering as it is commonly understood, as a technical praxis, but also trough what is often described as social engineering. Every image of Backaert reveals aspects of the human desire to govern and manage landscapes, societies and eventually the world. (H.Ibelings)

Rome, 2012
commissioner: ANCE, Associazione Nazionale Costruttori Edili
promoter: Edilstampa. L'Industria delle Costruzioni
artist: Roel Backaert
curators: Giampiero Sanguigni, Hans Ibelings
contractor: Devoto
with: Demoarchitects
on Abitare
photos: Roel Backaert