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Subversive Photography: Bernt and Hilla Becher's Water Towers


Architectural photography has never been so subversive as the work of two of my favorite artists Bernd and Hilla Becher.

Through the early 1960s into the 1980s the Bechers acted as industrial tourists where most outsiders dared not venture. Starting in their home country of East Germany, and latterly travelling through the USA and Europe, they meticulously documented industrial structures that were built for a specific purpose and many of which would be demolished as soon as the use of the structure became unneeded or obsolete. Their fascination was for the similarity in shape of certain types of structure. Consequently their work takes on a kind of 'cataloguing' feel as they created large visual collections of timber-framed houses, gas cylinders, cooling towers, lime kilns and blast furnaces to name but a few.

Above is a small selection of the many water towers they have exquisitely documented; one thing is certain, the images are absolutely gorgeous and I will be posting more in the future…..


Posted by: Sophie 19.01.2012