Jakob Tuggener

Eisenbahnlandschaft, Belfort - Paris

Jakob Tuggener
Eisenbahnlandschaft, Belfort - Paris, 1936
Gelatin-silver print, 15.4 x 20.6 cm
Collection Fotomuseum Winterthur, gift Maria E. Tuggener

© Nachlass Jakob Tuggener

1904 (Zurich, CH) – 1988 (Zurich, CH)
For Jakob Tuggener, whose works can be seen within the context of social documentary photography, the individual and the industrial boom of the 19th and 20th centuries were central themes. His often somber, black and white photographs seem to confront this new world with a sense of fear as well as admiration. Will technology help relieve us of physically hard labor or replace us altogether? Tuggener owes his renown to his photo book Factory that was published in 1943. With an aesthetic approach that was unique for his time, Tuggener explores in his photographic essay the relationship between humans and the perceived threat as well as progress of technology. The laborers depicted are grave, their faces worn marked by deep folds, while a factory building in the background stands strong, enveloped in a vaporous cloud. This “Pictorial Epic of Technology,” as Tuggener himself described it, is today considered a milestone in the history of photography books.