Man and Machine As Seen Through the Lens of Jakob Tuggener


The Swiss photographer Jakob Tuggener is one of the most significant industrial photographers in photography history, achieve through his series and book FABRIK, in which he studied the relationship between man and machine.

FABRIK is often compared to Tuggener's equals such as Brassaïs’s Paris de nuit (Paris by Night) (1933) and Bill Brandt’s The English at Home (1936), his signature of up-close shots of people and objects that force to peek through, as if he wants to startle and unsettle them, drabbed in dramatic lights and shadows.

Machine Tool Factory Tornos, Moutier, 1942. © Jakob Tuggener-Stiftung; Heater on electric furnace, 1943. © Jakob Tuggener-Stiftung

Humans, truth and social justice are among Tuggener's central themes in his oeuvre, whether painting, photography or film. Usually, it is set in factories, countrysides and glamorous balls and hotels. He mastered expressionist photography in forming compositions that are filmic through dynamic perspectives and excerpts.

Cath the on-going display in Jakob Tuggener - Computer Time at the Fotostiftung Schweiz in Zurich running through January 28.

Running girl in the Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon, 1934. © Jakob Tuggener-Stiftung; Grande Dixence power station, 1942. © Jakob Tuggener Foundation; Electric oven, Honegger Rüti, 1942. © Jakob Tuggener-Stiftung

Images are from the press kit.

2017-11-30 #news #fabrik #social-documentary-photography #jakob-tuggener


  1. sirio174
    sirio174 ·

    It is interesting to compare "Fabrik" by Tuggener (a wonderful edition by Steidl, like the original in tones and format), with "Workers" by Salgado, another masterpiece, my preferred book of the Brazilian photographer.

  2. montagu
    montagu ·

    @sirio174 Yes, both amazing work!

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