Christoph Lingg

Shut Down – Limited edition book and print, 2007

The Vienna based photographer Christoph Lingg was kind enough to offer me trade of his special edition of Shut Down. The book was published in 2007, but it is a new discovery for me, a bit late, but such is often the case with such special artist’s books. This isn’t a book you will just find on a book store shelf, although I saw that Dashwood has had them in the past.

Each is unique through the rusted metal covers, each one created by the artist. The book, beautifully printed, is hand-bound and comes in a card-stock slip-case.

Christoph traveled to 120 abandoned industrial sites from 2003-2006. Countries including Albania, Azerbaijan, China, former East Germany, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russia, and several more are represented in this tribute to the ideologies of what once stood for progress and growth, but now left to decay.

“One of the most striking paradoxes of “real existing socialism” is that this society, which loved to portray itself in the form of smoking factory chimneys, rows of combines across the fields and red-hot iron pouring out of smelters, never manufactured or produced anything.”

Richard Swartz

Of the 120 sites visited, 68 of them are represented in the book, in 104 color images. Abandoned factories must be on the list of things, such as grave-yards, churches and puppies that are the things difficult to photograph without becoming kitsch, contrived, over loaded with pathos. Even with so many in the edit, the images avoid romanticizing. There are 3 strong texts which accompany the images from Susanne Schaber, Richard Swartz and Serhij Zhadan.

This is the special edition image I chose out of the 9 to select from.

Its a fantastic c-print, 30×40 cm in an edition of 7, so it is rather limited.

Be sure to check out Christoph’s other books on his homepage.

You can order them directly through the publisher, Edition Aufbruch, in Vienna.

There is also a german version available called STILLGELEGT.

Thanks Christoph.