Miguel Guitart's Photo Series on Buffalo Architecture Captures 'Soul of the City'

The Beginning of Memory.

An image from Miguel Guitart's presentation on Buffalo's abandoned architecture, "The Beginning of Memory."

Published December 3, 2015 This content is archived.


Architecture faculty member Miguel Guitart's poetic visual presentation on Buffalo's vacant architecture has grabbed the attention of an international organization that fosters creative dialogue through short-format delivery.

Guitart's presentation, "The Beginning of Memory," is a compilation of his photographs of Buffalo architecture representing "the soul of the city, reflected in a certain degree of abandonment, solitude, materiality and legacy." Presented at a PechaKucha event in Buffalo in November, "The Beginning of Memory" was selected by the international PechaKucha organization as "Presentation of the Day" on Dec. 2, 2015, from hundreds of submissions from cities around the world.

Guitart, PhD, a visiting associate professor from Madrid, began his photo documentary project after coming to Buffalo in 2014 and has shared the series on Twitter under the title "Americana." The assemblage captures Buffalo's rapidly changing - and endangered - built environment as the city undergoes its most significant period of growth in decades. 

"The story of the city of Buffalo is inextricably linked to the notion of memory, but that memory is now in danger," Guitart says at the opening of his presentation. "Today, we contemplate the risks of sudden investment, lack of reflection, fast growth, anxious renovation. And we may forget the importance of the signature past that has made Buffalo unique."

PechaKucha calls Guitart's presentation, which was set to music by Philippe Rombi, a "beautiful poetic performance" on Buffalo's visual legacy that "compels the audience to slow down enough to observe it for themselves."

Guitart's work was also recently covered in The Buffalo News.