Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Glasgow flats

Mar 13, 2019 - Damian Ucieda Cortes

For my last post, I’d like to present a project which I completed last year and has not yet been published or exhibited.


In previous trips to Scotland, I was fascinated by the variety of council houses in the cities. Reading about it I found out that since the ‘Right to Buy’ policy was approved in 1980 the number of council houses has fallen by sixty-nine percent. More than four million houses have disappeared. One house is built for every five that are sold under the ‘Right to Buy’ as Benjamin Kentish points out in an article published in the Independent in November 2017. A system which could have worked but for various different factors is currently in it’s worse state to date, disappearing not only from the urban network but also from the minds of people who would have previously considered it a viable housing alternative.


In 2018 I travelled to the city of Glasgow with which I was already familiar with from my student days in Scotland, with the idea of photographing these building with three boxes of Polaroid film.  I understood this exercise as a possibility to photograph something which was disappearing in relation to a photographic format which had already disappeared. In addition to this, I knew that the polaroids could bring an interesting aesthetic element to the project as it was very rare that the image turned out perfectly.


Shortly after taking the first few photographs I could start to see the project taking shape. Some images turned out with what we could call a correct exposure, others slightly faded or missing parts of the image and others were totally blank.


These were the determining factors of the exercise and if there was a lack of continuity that in itself could be favourable to the narrative. The disappearance of the image, buildings split down the middle, landscapes obstructed by marks from the polaroid and constructions disappearing under a cloud from incomplete development added another layer of information and a certain poetic quality to the project.