From 12 July 1985 to 25 August 1985
Bernd and Hilla Becher (Germany: Siegen, 1931 – Rostock, 2007; Berlin, 1934) gained worldwide recognition in the 1950s for their photographs of decommissioned industrial buildings in Germany, Holland, France, Belgium, the UK and the US. Their work developed out of an interest in the technical characteristics of industrial zones and the ambiguous appeal of constructions such as blast furnaces, cooling towers, silos and cisterns. The artists sought an absolutely neutral, objective mode of representation devoid of any romanticism. All of their photographs were consequently shot with a meticulous attention to detail and in uniform light conditions without dramatic contrasts, to create an even grey tonality.
The same structure is photographed several times from different viewpoints so as to achieve a comprehensive description.
This exhibition concentrated on a single theme, extraction towers, which the two artists researched for over twenty years across different industrial zones in Western Europe and North America. The photographs have an abstract quality, with subjects observed in an impersonal, analytical, methodical manner reminiscent of anatomical studies. The result is a visual anthology of an era and at the same time, its metaphysical reflection.