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HILLA BECHER
[b. 1934] German conceptual photographer
What is photography other than collecting? - Hilla Becher

Our work, if you want to do it thoroughly, is a race against time. - Hilla Becher

One just has to select the right objects and fit them into the picture precisely, then they tell their own story all by themselves. - Hilla Becher

Someone who concerns himself with scorpions must love them to a certain extent. And photography is there precisely to portray what is, not to sort and reproduce only the good and the beautiful. - Hilla Becher

I was interested in a straightforward 19th-century way of photographing an object. To photograph things frontally creates the strongest presence and you can eliminate the possibilities of being too obviously subjective. - Hilla Becher

There are stillborn topics, where its apparent that the subject won't lead very far, because its not historically founded or is not anchored in the present or has been previously done. Think of the Cindy Sherman syndrome. - Hilla Becher

You have to be honest with your object and to make sure you do not destroy it with your subjectivity, and yet remain involved at the same time. - Hilla Becher

We want to offer the audience a point of view, or rather a grammar, to understand and compare the different structures. Through photography, we try to arrange these shapes and render them comparable. To do so, the objects must be isolated from their context and freed from all association. - Hilla Becher

...an ideal in photography: that one actually enters into the object, that one looks at it in such a way that afterward one has a genuine love for it. - Hilla Becher

For us, it plays no role who pushes the shutter for a particular picture… outsiders cannot tell who has taken a particular photo and we often forget ourselves. It simply is not important. - Hilla Becher

Our camera does not produce pretty pictures, but exact duplications that, through our renunciation of photographic effects, turn out to be relatively objective. The photo can optically replace its object to a certain degree. This takes on special meaning if the object cannot be preserved. - Hilla Becher

This is about objects, not motifs. The photo is only a substitute for an object; it is unsuitable as a picture in its customary sense. - Hilla Becher

For me, photography is by its very nature free of ideology. Photography with ideology falls to pieces. - Hilla Becher

The question if this is a work of art or not is not very interesting for us. Probably it is situated in between the established categories. Anyway, the audience which is interested in art would be the most open-minded and willing to think about it. - Hilla Becher

We don’t agree with the depiction of buildings in the ‘20s and 1930s. Things were seen either from above or below which tended to monumentalize the object. This was exploited in terms of a socialistic view—a fresh view of the world, a new man, a new beginning. - Hilla Becher

Technology is above requiring an interpretation; it interprets itself. You merely need to select the right objects and place them precisely in the picture; then they tell the story of their own accord. - Hilla Becher

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