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Bernd & Hilla Becher inspired project

We recently visited the Met Museum to see the an exhibition on the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher - an artist duo who would photograph various industrial structures such as water towers, barns, and power plants. They noticed that the structures were of course similar but also each one very different withC unique design details. They would photograph each of these buildings from similar viewpoints and usually under the same conditions - early, overcast mornings to highlight only the design aspects of the structure.

Then they would arrange their photographs in a grid creating typologies, or groupings of architectural structures with similar purposes. When arranged together you can notice all the similarities and differences in a very beautiful way and the buildings start to appear to be more like sculptures.

Create some art

For this project we are going to challenge you to pick up a camera! You could use a Polaroid camera like us or you can use whatever you have on hand, even a cellphone. Then take a walk nearby your house. Do you notice any repeating structures or objects? Are there any differences in how the objects look even though they serve the same purpose?

Pick something to focus on and try to find at least 6 examples. Use whatever inspires you - one of my kids chose flags, another playgrounds, and I did fire hydrants. Try to capture your object from similar viewpoints and angles. So if you take one picture straight on, in the center of your image then repeat that same angle for your other photographs.

Once you have all your photographs you can print them out and arrange them on in a grid. If you don’t have a printer you could also arrange them digitally.

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