Hidden Layers Of The City

by Anthony Palmer

19 June 2023

‘If you’re going to make a project that has some resonance, that is going to transcend into the pure visual, that is meaningful, I think you need to research the city; not only by walking, but by studying the city. My approach is about exploring the city and that’s an important part of my practice... Only by doing this can you understand the hidden layers of the city and maybe reveal this complexity which is overlooked’.

Isidro Ramirez, photographer  

‘3’ from ‘The Unfeasible Order of Things’

Isidro Ramirez is a Spanish photographer who, after 20 years spent living, working and studying in the UK, is now based in Singapore. Alongside developing his practice as a contemporary urban photographer, Ramirez now also lectures in the BA(Hons) Design Communication program at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore. His photographic works have been exhibited widely in major cities across Europe and the USA, including Barcelona, Bogota, Vienna, Berlin, New York and Los Angeles.

In this wide-ranging interview, Isidro talks about his interest in photographic theory, exploring the limitations of the medium and how it intersects with phenomenology. He talks about the reasons for his switch from analogue 5x4 process to digital photography after moving to Singapore and current project, Spare Time, using long exposure images. Isidro discusses in detail other South East Asia photo projects that concentrate on cities, including Jakarta - Modest Interventions and Minor Improvisations and The Unfeasible Order of Things and how his research process combines walking. experiencing and theorising the city.

National Day Decorations’ from ‘Spare Time’

This interview was originally produced for Crossing Lines, which began as a collaborative venture with the Centre for Urban and Community Research and is a satellite group of London Independent Photography. The meetings are hosted by the interviewer and photographer Anthony Palmer and take place on the first Wednesday of each month from 6-8pm and are online. The format is usually two presentations and topics that have recently been explored include photography of architectural re-use, industrial preservation, a visual sociology of the doorbell, colonial spaces, the social memory of place, cities and regulation; and also the ideas that emerge from exploring the limitations of photography, as can be heard in this interview with Isidro Ramirez. 

‘Museum’ from ‘What We Don’t See’ 

Background image : Gibraltar from Closed for Winter

︎ credits : Isidro Ramirez

If you’re interested in joining Crossing Lines please contact Anthony Palmer , or visit the Crossing Lines page on London Independent Photography 

Isidro Ramirez is a graduate of the Photography and Urban Cultures MA at Goldsmiths, University of London. His current work can be found here

︎ @isidroramirezph