TRANSIT AND MONUMENT
On the occasion of the 180th anniversary of photography WestLicht travels back to the early days of the medium showcasing the work of Édouard Baldus (1813 – 1889): The German-French pioneer is considered a key figure of 19th century photography. The exhibition offers the rare opportunity to explore his extraordinary album Chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée from 1863, which counts among the most important creations in photobook history. The album on display on loan from the OstLicht Collection is one of only eight complete copies known to exist worldwide. Its large format albumen prints follow the railway line from Lyon to the Mediterranean juxtaposing the modern infrastructure of tracks, bridges and train stations with the ancient Roman monuments – a political analogy that places Napoleonic France in the tradition of the antique empire. Touching on themes of travel and transportation, the project represents a recurring motif in the photographer’s oeuvre: the relation of landscape and construction. Baldus’s lucid style has occasionally been described as the birth of modern perception, the structure of his albums identified as a strategy anticipating subsequent serial concepts by the likes of August Sander or Bernd and Hilla Becher.
Curated by Anna Auer
The exhibited works by Édouard Baldus are courtesy of OstLicht Gallery, Vienna
Due to an event the exhibition is closed on 12.07.