Technikfotografien. Aufnahmen aus dem Reich der Freiheit und der Notwendigkeit

Bernd Stiegler


The late 1920s saw an eruption of photographs picturing feats of technical construction: metal bridges, machine parts, steel construction, furnaces, and factories. The seemingly recalcitrant field of industrial technology became the target of an aesthetic fascination that produced many spectacular photobooks. But debates about the photography of technology were characterized by a deep ambivalence. On the one hand, technology was celebrated as sublime; on the other, the downside of mechanization was criticized. Avantgarde photographs of technology walked a narrow path between the glorification of technology and a critical inventory. This ambivalence is discussed through a comparison between the photographers Germaine Krull and Margaret Bourke-White, both of whom produced important photobooks and essays about technology.

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