Jeff Brouws has spent the last 30 years photographing various aspects of the American cultural landscape, often assembling typologies of common architectural forms in everyday environments. In Silent Monoliths he documents a variety of concrete coaling towers standing dormant in isolated brownfields or along active railroad lines. Built between 1907 and ’56 these remnants of railroading’s past were once used to dispense coal into steam locomotives. Seemingly impervious to the vicissitudes of time, decay or outright removal, these sculptural examples of former industrial brawn recall an earlier technological era most of us never witnessed. Because of this we glimpse—in real time—what Walker Evans once termed the “historical contemporary” of the modern world.

Brouws practices an evidentiary form of photography, taking stand-alone portraits of coaling towers in homage to Hilla and Bernd Becher, as well as wider views revealing their broader contexts and landscapes. These two approaches reflect his dual interests in the New Topographics from the 1970s, as well as the compiling of typologies—a style of image making with historic roots traceable to the invention of photography itself as seen by Louis Daguerre’s photo of his fossil collection and William Henry Fox Talbot’s botanical photograms. Brouws’ coaling towers emerge in dialogue with these nineteenth- and twentieth-century predecessors.


208 pages, 158 images

Hardback / Clothbound
27.9 x 27.9 cm

English

ISBN 978-3-95829-554-4

Not yet published

€ 65.00 incl. VAT
Free shipping

Cookie Settings

We use cookies to improve your experience and to provide you with personalized content. By using this website you agree to our cookie policy

Necessary Cookies
Statistical Cookies
Third-party Cookies
Accept Change Settings
steidl.de

Cookie Settings

More information on how we use cookies in our cookie policy.

­

Necessary Cookies

Without these Cookies services you have asked for cannot be provided.

Statistical Cookies

Allow anonymous usage statistics so that we can improve our offering.

Third-party Cookies

Third-party cookies that are integrated to deliver personalized ads for you.

Cookies We use on This Site