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Andreas Gursky's powerful depiction of place

Bahrain I, 2005 by Andreas Gursky (92800 x 1975 mm)

Taught by the artistic duo Bernd and Hilla Becher famous for their obsessive photographic documentation of industrial typologies (water towers, grain elevators, gas tanks), Andreas Gursky uses photography as a way of generating a record of a certain place. He then combines the assembled images to create a piece that visually conjures the specific sensorial qualities of it. Here for example, the multiplied racetracks winding through the desert plain seem to evoke the heavy heat, the striking contrast between the harsh human intervention and the subtle colours of the natural setting as well as the tension between a speeding car and the timeless eternity of the landscape.

Thus Gursky’s work challenges the format of the traditional architectural site survey by suggesting a qualitative approach that captures the essence of a place – sensorial, social, cultural - to complement an often dry quantitative analysis.

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