Factories become fairy tale castles


by Hans Dieter Peschken (translation by Robert M. Strauss and Horst Jösch)




It goes upwards with the career of Horst Jösch. Approvingly the guests of the vernissage in the founder center of the steel mill Becker took notice of the exhibition stations of the photographer, which Thomas Friebe mentioned in his opening speech: „Miami, Munich, Cologne - and now Willich.“ The photo-artist living in Meerbusch got around much in the world: born 1966 in Santiago de Chile, he grew up in Germany and lived three years in the USA. Since 1979 he photographs, is an agricultural-engineer and worked as a tv-producer.


The autodidact makes a living of photography since 2000, he found his motives in Willich, just where he - „In Transfer“ is the title of the show - now exhibits. Certainly he shows the Central Station of New York, but also some architectures from Miami Beach and a large format Picture of a twilight in Greenport NY.


Buildings are part of his preferred subjects. The airport bridge in Düsseldorf can be seen, the ‘Landscape Park North’ in Duisburg with it’s industrial plants, with train, pipeline and canal. The closed Böhler-stainless steel factory in Düsseldorf interested Jösch, just as the steel mill Becker. Halls from in- and outside, the fallow in the foreground and a view through window-bars were him worse some photos. The formats with its 20 by 20 centimetres are small, but very tense. With different techniques, Jösch obtains this impression. He uses a Hasselblad and then makes Polaroids from the slides.


He calls it „Emulsion Lift“ when he removes the layer in a water bath and transfers it onto canvas. Wrinkles and creases result thereby, lines become undulated and soft. In another procedure the picture is transferred to watercolor paper. So each picture becomes an original, is no longer repeatable. „He’s a magician, who enchants daily things and our perspective and expands our horizon“, said Thomas Friebe in his speech.


With his work in the darkroom, Jösch achieves that his pictures actually appear enchanted. Through reduced color intensity the factory plants become enchanted fairy tale castles. The spectator isn’t no longer deterred by industrial dimness or the loneliness of abandoned halls, instead he’s allured by the secrets of architecture in the twilight. In addition Jösch knows not to overload his formats and forgoes superficial effects. These photos are no rational documentation, no bare stocktaking. They show how an emotional determined eye and a directed treatment can refine the everyday life subjects.


Photographer Horst Jösch shows his pictures in the steel mill Becker.