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Sweet Assignment

by Stefan Skowron

No industry writeup, rather a documentation with a professional eye for detail. Whether modern control panel or parts from a decommissioned machinepark, Andreas Magdanz leaves every object its estethic qualities. And yet no routine work just aiming to please.

Photography in search of the commonplace. A presentation of complex ways of looking at things. The compacting of experiences by means of a dialogue between motifs, photography techniques and reproduction methods adequately describes the work of Andreas Magdanz. The will to art which, from the vantage point of the master craftsman and high technical precision, leaves the object its authentic nature.

The pictures taken at Lindt & Sprüngli's Süsterfeld plant near Aachen were preceded by a similar documentation on Germany's Eifel region. There, too, Magdanz was able to approach his work under the free and unfettered conditions of an artist, putting his work into a lofty and credible frame. The pictures form a series of contrasting pairs. The over 70 photographs selected (printed exclusively on Sea Gull photographic paper) are imbued with a rhythm that makes up an important part of his total ouevre. This helps keep up a distance from the visual clich‚s frequently encountered in industrial and
manufacturing photography.

The selection of the right camera equipment that he believes will match the needs of his objects is a major factor in Magdanz's work. On the Lindt & Sprüngli project, he used: Minox C viewfinder camera (15 mm lens), Nikon F4 (20 mm Nikkor, 35 to 150 mm Nikkor zoom lens), Rolleiflex 6006 mod. II (50, 80 and 150 mm Zeiss lenses) and Sinar P2 13x18 and 4x5 inches (90 and 250 mm lenses).

Magdanz demands the best possible quality at all times. Extending this approach from his motifs to the subsequent processing of the prints (all negatives were developed using the two-tray method, double fixation and adequate washing), seems to continue the expressive force of his pictures. Hence, the presentation of his work is just as important to him as the artistic formulation of his images.

In the Lindt & Sprüngli documentation, the high demands of the client on their product matched those of the photographer on his. This concurrence of purpose has resulted in a book free from any manipulations. The structure of the mechanical was retained, surviving the subjective interest that both sides have in the object.

For Andreas Magdanz, photography is more that just a tool for providing answers. With their sensitivity in the face of motifs of highly contrasting shapes, his visualizations of objects help counter the flood of images today. Regardless of the form, not a single picture sends out an urgent appeal. His stills mostly claim their artistic place in a cool and rational manner.
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