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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Fabrik: Ein Bildepos der Technik (1943) is s book by Jakob Tuggener, a photographic essay on the relationship between man and industry.

Though not a commercial success, it represented, in its filmic sequencing and absence of text (like one of his own silent films), an avant-garde breakthrough in Swiss photography.

It takes its readers on free-ranging tour through an industrial world, guided by Berti, the factory errand-girl. The images were drawn from Tuggener’s commercial work promoting contented, peaceful Swiss workers and the introduction of new, ‘clean’, technology of electronics and hydroelectric power. In his introduction, the journalist Arnold Burgauer announces Tuggener as “a Jack-of-all-trades: he exhibits the sharp eye of the hunter, the dreamy eye of the painter; he can be a realist, a formalist, romantic, theatrical, surreal. Tuggener moves effortlessly between large-format lucidity and grainy, blurred impressionism, in a book that is a decade ahead of its time.”

Tuggener continued photographing labour and industry to produce two more book maquettes: Schwarzes Eisen (Black Iron, 1950) and Die Maschinenzeit (The Machine Age, 1952). Burgauer described the latter as a “brilliant and sparkling factual report on the world of the machine, its development, its potential and its limits”.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Fabrik" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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