For over 4 decades, Georg Koppmann documented the urban development of Hamburg in the late 19th century. In addition to the architectural transformations of the city, his archive, which consists of hundreds of pictures, shows the interiors of modern power plants or cranes designed specially for transporting heavy artillery guns for the German army. Koppann was a photographer who shaped the image of Hamburg at the time. Where the Atoms Die is an attempt to create an inventory of the advanced technologies deciding about the present-day look of the city, as inspired by the monumental work of Georg Koppmann. Yet, what Koppmann defines and describes visually is subject to decomposition in Milach’s works. Things and places lose their primary functions and the artist’s inability to comprehend the technology processes redirects his attention to the peripheries of their meanings. The utilitarian value of the inventoried items loses its importance making way for an artistic gesture.
Where the atoms Die
All images © courtesy of Rafal Milach