Do we value cameras for their form, or their function? An exhibition in Philadelphia which features hundreds of camera sculptures made from a range of different materials aims to examine this question. 'Reach Ruin', which is showing at The Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia features several camera sculptures, created from carved stone, glass, chalk and sand.

A Pentax K1000 made of chalk - one of the exhibits at 'Reach Ruin' an exhibition currently running at the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia. 

According to the artist, Daniel Arsham, 'much of the time when we think about what a camera does, we think of it as a producer of images' but as well as being a photographic tool, 'many of us that use photography have a relationship with the object. If you want, call it a fetish'.

An army of plaster Nikkormat FTs. The exhibition aims to reduce cameras to their form rather than their function and asks the question how we interact with them as objects, rather than tools for creation. 

The sculptures in Reach Ruin are unpainted, and reflect their constituent materials. Arsham, who is colorblind, explains that 'the reduction of color allows audiences to experience the formal qualities of things'. By reducing cameras to their form alone, the exhibition raises the possibility that these tools, invented to create art, are themselves an artform. And even if you don't completely buy into that theory, we think there's something fascinating about seeing armies of stone Pentax K1000s and Nikkormats lined up in an exhibition space. Let us know what you think in the comments. Do you collect cameras because you need them, or because you want them?

Recent Videos

Reach Ruin runs at the Fabric Warehouse in Philadelphia until mid-March. Click here for more details

(via be sure to bookmark its excellent Raw File blog).