Prueffeld Industrie / Industry as a Test Bed: Siemens Fotoprojekt 1987-1992 / the Siemens Photography Project 1987-1992
It is by now apparent that the medium of photography, now 150 years old, has atained a status of undisputed art-historical significance. In Germany, ... Show synopsis It is by now apparent that the medium of photography, now 150 years old, has atained a status of undisputed art-historical significance. In Germany, however, photography as an art form in its own right has attained recognition to only a moderate extent. German museums, for example, have rather neglected photography; it is rare that a museum will seriously maintain a separate department for this art form. As part of a concerted sponsorship effort, the Siemens Culture Programme granted a number of photographers the opportunity, over a period of five years, of carrying out projects with the company. The only constraint placed on these artists in the content of their work was that it formulate a photographic statement of the interrelationships among humans, environment and technology. The photographers commissioned to work on this project are oriented in a more or less remote sense to Straight Photography: a movement which as early as the 1920s and 1930s in America claimed prominent contributors as Walker Evans, Paul Strand and Edward Western. This somewhat puristic, unsentimental, direct representation of reality has until now found only few advocates in Germany. In this collection, 18 photographers have followed various conceptional approaches in their creation of picture series within the context of industry as thematic area. They include Hans-Peter Feldmann, Michael Schmidt, Andreas Gursky, Axel Huette and Dieter Appelt. Although industry does not generally welcome critical and uncontrolled standpoints, Siemens placed no restrictions on these photographers in the realization of their concepts. Each of the 18 photographic contributions is accompanied by a brief introductory text. In addition, the book contains several articles on the past, present and future of artistic photography.
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