Light in Transit.
Photographs by Vera Lutter. Text by Gertrud Sandqvist.
Holzwarth Publications, Berlin, 2003. 60 pp., 32 tritone illustrations, 12¼x10¼".
Lutter's large scale camera obscura photographs of airplanes at the Frankfurt airport (necessarily reversals, they use photographic paper and no negative) were shown last year as part of the Whitney Biennial. Some of the photographs were made using a converted travelling trunk, with paper placed directly inside; others were made with a camera the size of a room, being placed in front of the subject (planes in hangars and docked at gates) from two hours to five days. The resulting photographs are the antithesis of all things conventionally associated with photography: long exposure times which do not split the second but rather multiply it, negative images that barely represent our waking perceptions, and unique, unreproduceable prints. Sandqvist queries, "To see before us these pictures from one of the world's busiest airports, the hub for a myriad movements, as something totally silent, uncannily still, is that not to bring out the repressed passivity in supposedly active modern life?"
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