A.M. Richard Fine Art
Most of us have everyday lives far removed from that of heavy industry and at times in my life I've worked for large conglomerates such as Firestone Tyres and in the cable and wire rope works of Bridon in the UK. There is a magnificence in heavy industry despite the grime and often terrible working conditions - the scale is awesome and the ingenuity that can create plants on some a scale stretches the mind. The recording of working conditions has a long tradition in documentary photography and it was common in the earliest Daguerreotypes to record workers with the tools of their trades - painters with their brushes, miners with shovels and picks and so on. Lewis Hine recorded aspects of child labor in the USA and the Bernd & Hilla Becher the typologies of industrial buildings. On this website there already exhibitions on the industrial remains of Eastern Europe recorded by Bruce Haley and the English industrial decay photographed by John Darwell.
In this online exhibition New York based photographer Andrew Garn takes us to Magnitogorsk in Russia.
The Magnitogorsk Metal Kombinat (MMK), built in the late 1920s during Stalin's Five Year Plan, is the largest steel plant in the world today. The sheer vastness and architectural complexity of this Siberian metal city, conceived with the ambition to become the "Pittsburgh of the East", is unparalleled throughout the world. An important record of political, social and manufacturing history, Magnitogorsk is also a feat of engineering and socialist ideals. The Russian steel plant, constructed on an uninhabited barren and hostile plain near the Ural River and a mountain rich in iron ore, stretches for over thirteen miles. By comparison, the great US Steel plant in Pittsburgh, PA, was a third of this size.
Thanks to Andrew Garn for his assistance with this exhibition.
There is an online exhibition on Luminous-Lint.
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