A year after her husband died, photographer Hilla Becher was interviewed by a German magazine about her work and her husband.
SZ: Why was your husband not interested in such photos?
HB: He rejected them because he was not interested in taking them. Actually, he was never interested in photography.
SZ: That is an unusual statement about a man who spent his whole life on it.
HB: Originally, Bernd did sketches. In the beginning, he sketched industrial landscapes. But he never managed to finish his work, because he was so precise. Often the object was demolished right in front of his eyes, back then heavy industry in the Siegerland was being abandoned for good. The demolishing, the decay happened faster than he could sketch it.
SZ: So then he took photos?
HB: Right. He borrowed a 35mm camera and took photos, to use them for his sketches. That’s how it started, photography as the means to an end.
1. Perhaps the most playful art I’ve ever seen in a major museum is Olafur Eliasson’s Ventilator, a fan hung on a long cord in the main atrium in the museum. Watching it blow around the huge room, chased by children, is hard-to-beat fun.
2. The rest of Eliasson’s show on the third floor. His art seems so conceptually and constructurally simple yet, I dunno, I just wanted to hang out in the gallery all day, like I was required to remain part of the experience. Left me wishing I’d made it to London to see The Weather Project.
3. The typology photos of Bernd and Hilla Becher. Recommended if you like photography and multiples of things.
Irritated that I missed: van Gogh’s Starry Night (out on loan to Yale until Sept…I’ve seen it 20 times at least but still like checking it out whenever I’m there), the exhibition of George Lois’ Esquire covers, and lunch at Cafe 2.