In this fascinating collection, Belgian photographer Ives Maes (born 1976) explores the unique architecture of World Fairs and Expos. Since the first world exhibition more than a century and a half ago, these fairs have represented the promise of a more harmonious world, with their ambitious displays of their respective era’s greatest artistic and scientific accomplishments. Here, Maes shows how time has taken its toll on these architectural monuments and pavilions–now often decayed, abandoned or adrift from their original purpose–highlighting their faded glory against their utopian aspirations. Despite their present condition, many of these buildings remain inspirational as architectural specimens, for the sheer adventurousness of their design. Maes’ photographs are ordered chronologically and range from London’s Great Exhibition (1851) through to the most recent expo in Shanghai, 2010.
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