Auschwitz - ultima ratio of modern age

PhotographerTomasz Lewandowski
Prize1st Place in Book(self-published) / Documentary
City/CountryHalle (Saale), Germany
Photo Date2015-2017
Technical InfoDummy, 21x26 cm, 96 pages
Entry Description

According to a duo of photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, the form of the industrial construction is determined only by its function. The designing logic of the architecture in the concentration camp Auschwitz was, that the forms of the buildings were absolutely subordinated to their function as instruments of the industrial genocide. So, this architecture is a pure realization of Louis Sullivans principle of the modern: „form follows function“. In this context Zygmunt Bauman also pointed out that „the modern civilization [...] certainly was not the only one, but was probably a necessary precondition for the Holocaust“ (Zygmunt Bauman, Modernity and The Holocaust). The typological examination of the buildings and the objects in this photographic cycle should enable the spectator to compare rationalization methods in an architecture designed for efficient mass killing. To avoid the narrative character and to show the „things as they are” (Susan Sonntag), the images have been made within similar and constant lighting conditions. Scans of 4x5-inch-bw-negativs.

About Photographer

Tomasz Lewandowski is born 1978 in Nysa, Poland, now based in Halle (Saale), Germany, between 2010 and 2012 master course in photography at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Arts Halle, Germany, 2014 start of the ph.d. at the same University in the department of Design Studies, speciality: history of the architecture, since 2006 freelance photographer: commercial works (mainly in architecture), and free projects, publications in several architectural magazines in Europe, Asia and North America, art exhibitions in Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Karlsruhe, Saarbrücken, Halle (Saale) and Warsaw.