800 Views of Airports.
Photographs by Peter Fischli & David Weiss.
Walther Konig, 2012. 408 pp., 800 color illustrations, 7¾x11".
Selected as a Book of the Week by Lex Thompson
800 Views of Airports documents a lengthy series of work by Peter Fischli (born 1952) and David Weiss (1946-2012), comprising 1,010 photographs to date, all of which appear here complete for the first time. For this ongoing documentary project, the artistic duo photograph the airports they passed through in their travels around the world over nearly 25 years, in a quest for exotic banality throughout different cultures. Their images of these nondescript airports focus on the humdrum aspect of air travel: the fuel vehicles, the baggage trucks, the daily routines of airport workers, the long antiseptic corridors and sprawling tarmacs surrounded by panoramic views of empty vistas. Whether presenting a Lufthansa airplane sitting idle in a yellowy light, a Swiss Air plane waiting in a neon-haunted dusk or an Air France plane getting its belly filled in the dead of night, Fischli and Weiss’s images present the evanescence of any national identity when reduced to a symbol on a vertical stabilizer. 800 Views of Airports reveal the non-places encircling our world, and the non-journeys that have come to define our contemporary life in transit, while simultaneously offering carefully composed images that are strangely placid and restful.