Friday, 15 May 2015

Landscape Research - Bernd and Hilla Becher

"Art does not reproduce the visible, it renders visible". 
- Gunilla Knape. P.5. 

(Source: Becher, B., & Becher, H. (2005). Basic Forms of Industrial Buildings. London: Thames & Hudson.)

Industrial buildings aren't always thought of a 'beautiful', but in the book from Bernd & Hilla Becher Basic Forms of Industrial Buildings the work published looks artistic. Throughout the book many different industrial buildings have been captured. The book ranges from, blast furnaces, coke towers, water towers, cooling towers, gasometers, winding towers, preparation plants, gravel plants, grain elevators and coal bunkers.

I found the water towers interesting as depending on their location, the shape also changes. I feel that the shape of the tower represents the country the tower is placed in some way. I feel that each and every industrial building is made differently to the next. Their work is internation, capturing buildings from around the world, this shows that the photographers have taken time and dedication into researching and planning their locations of where to shoot and capture each shot. 

"Because their way of perceiving a subject invariably depends on it's design, complex constructions and structures are always photographed from several angles"
- Susanne Lange. P.13.  

The elements of the building have been captured in fine detail, as it's evident to see the concrete, metals and wood, depending on the building captured throughout the photographs. The structure of the buildings was of interest as I previously said that depending on the location, the building somehow matches the area. The quote above suggest that the photographers have captured the photographs from several different angles and is evident through their work. The photographs work well as a typology and much preferably the work looks better presented when the viewer can see each photograph is shot in a consistent and repetitive manner. 

The photographs looks silent and still, quite picturesque so to say, but in reality industrial building are from from quiet. When observing the work of the buildings captured, I also start to wonder why the building was created that way? Why is the building that does the same thing as the next, created a different way in another country? I have came across Bernd and Hilla Becher's industrial buildings before and each time I'm drawn to the idea of who though that building that building that way and they knew it would work? 

Water Towers 1965-82. P.8.

Blast Furnaces, 1970-89. P.10. 

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA 1986. P.13. 

Water Tower, Trier-Ehrang, Germany 1982. P.21.

Grain Elevator, Piper City, Illinois, USA 1982. P. 93.
Grain Elevator, Bad Lansick, Germany 1998. P.95.
Grain Elevator, Duisburg, Germany 2002. P.97.
In my interests, I have also captured a photograph involving an industrial building. The building I have captured was Hartlepool's Brewery. I found this building interesting in it's placement as it's more closer to Hartlepool's centre and usually buildings like this are built far out. A busy road also runs along side the building as well as a public footpath. When capturing the photograph, I had to capture the buildings from across the road in order to capture the height. I also chose to capture the building from an angle, I was sure to wait my moment to take the shot. I waited until there were no cars or people around as human interaction may distract from the overall shot. 

Cameron's Lion Brewery, Charlene Wears. 2015. 

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