Oliver Curtis Captures The World’s Famous Monuments Taken The Other Way


Taj Mahal, Agra, India

We all know the famous landmarks around the world, and everyone is trying to get the same shot like they’ve seen on so many postcards before. Here’s what happens when the photo is taken from another angle.

Over four years Oliver Curtis has turned his back on the most famous landmarks in the world such as the Eiffel Tower, the White House and Stonehenge, to create a fascinating collection that promotes a new perspective on tourism. His “Volte-face” project seeks to create a narrative on the quiet history and stories that surround famous attractions such as the Mona Lisa. It started in 2012, when he was visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo. Curtis realised by turning back and looking in the direction that he came in there was more to the landscape then originally thought.

Looking back at the Giza photograph that started the Volte-face series, Curtis recounts “After walking around the base of the tomb I found myself looking back out in the direction I had arrived from, with the pyramid behind me.”

Then, in the mid- distance I saw a newly constructed golf course, its fairways an intense green under the late morning sun. I found this visual sandwich of contrasting colour, texture and form intriguing not simply for the photograph it made but also because of the oddness of my position; standing at one of the great wonders of the world facing the ‘wrong’ way.

– Oliver Curtis

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, USA
Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, USA
Mao Mausoleum, Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China
Mao Mausoleum, Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China
Mona Lisa, Louvre, Paris, France
Mona Lisa, Louvre, Paris, France
Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico
Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico
Reichstag, Berlin, Germany
Reichstag, Berlin, Germany
Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK
Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Israel
Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Israel
White House, Washington D.C., USA
White House, Washington D.C., USA
Great Wall of China, Mutianyu, China
Great Wall of China, Mutianyu, China

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., USA

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