Photographs: Vàclav Jiràsek
Price: 50 €
Comments: Hardcover. Dust jacket. 300 x 230 mm. Text in czech and English. Some traces on the back of the jacket.
Vàclav Jiràsek, in Industria, presents a grandiose expression of the monumentality of the decay and dissolution of the impossibly gigantic dreams of the yesterday that was to have been tomorrow. The dream of the epochal significance of heavy industry in the intentions of 19th century capitalism, or the later Bolshevik "engineers of the human soul', has evaporated, and all that remain are the fragments and ruins of the former "cathedral of labour". Now, the colossal, half-ruinous factory halls full of gigantic, mute, rust-bound machinery, amid heaps of dust and slag, are now almost entirely empty and quiet. Only in a few sections there are still people at work. And yet, their portraits of nearly life size, both formally and typologically referring to the portraits of knights and saints on the winds of late Gothic altar-paintings, are precisely what forms the spine of the book, the one living moment in an environment both man-made and inhuman, the environment that these photographs convey with such force.