David Lynch: The Factory Photographs

David Lynch, Factory PhotographsWords by Billie Jenkins

David Lynch: The Factory Photographs, at the Photographers Gallery until March 30th 2014

It is probable only those familiar without the work of David Lynch will understand why this collection of black and white photographs of industrial scenes are of any real interest. Neither immaculately shot or attention grabbing it is rather the strange atmosphere they exhibit, one very much an extension of that unpleasant foreboding found in his films, that give the exhibition it’s spark. Many of the images look literally as if they’ve been picked from a camera pan, or were chosen because they were the point in a zoom that the background was neatest framed by the foreground. It is fascinating how such simple, understated images could convey the dazed, surrealist impressions a longer Lynch work evokes, and be instantly recognisable as contributing to the directors tradition. They represent overbearing, slightly too tall, uncomfortably angled spaces and forms that emulate the relationship Lynch’s characters have with their surroundings; industrialised, gothic and imposing.

The tagline from Lynch on his work states “I love industry. Pipes. I love fluid and smoke. I love man-made things. I like to see people hard at work, and I like to see sludge and man-made waste.” Yet the images on show are not snapshots of bright, working industry, they are very much the man-made waste of a supposedly glorious era for man. For me that is what connects the feelings of the photographs to Lynch’s other work. The imposing, overbearing forms the images contain are symbols of decay, a record of bygone human activity that has left unsavoury and somewhat surreal remnants. Concrete ghosts bigger than ourselves. The exhibition only runs for three weeks so get down to the Photographers Gallery before it’s to late.

David Lynch, Factory Photographs

David Lynch, Factory Photographs

David Lynch, Factory Photographs

David Lynch, Factory Photographs

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