Stefan Seip-The Inheritance of the Iron Works

Stefan Seip-The Inheritance of the Iron Works

In march 1999 I visted a iron works at the first time. It was so spectacular that I needed one hour to realize what I saw. After that I was able to take pictures. This took place at the 'Old Voeklingen Iron Works', a blast furnace system which is closed since 1986. It was established in 1873 and after the closure it/s on the 'World Heritage List' of the UNESCO (1994). At times Voelkingen was the largest place to produce iron girder in germany and the most modern factory of this kind in europe. I was waved between the nostalgia and the charm of the past on one hand, and the brutal and unreal world, which had been the place of work for many people a long time, on the other hand. Now the people who worked with the machines in the past are no longer there. But the cold, inhuman impressioned metal machines still remains. Again and again I was amazed about the tribulation and the energy, they obviously spend for mining iron as a raw material. At my photography work I concentrated on details, showing the fascinating technology of the past as well as their transitoriness. It was a extraordinary task for me, to extract some aesthetic views from an industrial factory, that never had had any connection with works of art. The results are testimonys of a ended period, that I recorded. Iron and steel, screws and nuts yields the silicon, copper, plastics and electronics.

by Stefan Seip


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