Road Tripping. But not as you know it
Two men from Switzerland have forever altered the concept of the road trip by merging the imagined with the experienced. Here are 7 reasons why you should see EURASIA, Taiyo Onorato and Nico Kreb’s show nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, currently on show at the Photographer’s Gallery in London.
1) Car Envy. The two photographers from Switzerland bought an old Landcruiser for their project and started driving East. Travel became an experimental process.
2) Solid stamina. Starting in Switzerland, the photographers journeyed to the Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and ended in Mongolia. All in all they drove 50,000km.
3) Miscellaneous madness. The worlds they encountered along the way were hugely diverse. They witnessed ancient cultures, industrial cities, the Post Soviet struggle, totalitarian states, nomadic cultures and vast untouched nature during their drive, capturing the elements on 16mm film and in photographs. In one segment of film we see a man comically dancing, in another a man peels a giant bird of prey out of his car boot, not unlike a magician might conjure a rabbit out of hat.
4) Ingenuity. The artists’ work is pure invention. They say: “It’s a fabricated image, a reproduction of how we look, how we perceive, how we understand or misunderstand.”
5) Stirring thought. The artists, who work using analogue documentary media such as a large-format plate camera say: “We want people to be curious and to explore and to think about what they see and what it does to them.”
6) Ancient finds. The Ethnological Museum in Berlin granted them access to countless objects, which they decided to photograph placed on the photos they had taken during their journey. “It felt like bringing them [the objects] back home.” Not since Grayson Perry’s The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsmen at the British Museum have artefacts been so grippingly woven into the experience of anew artwork.
7) Wizards of experience. In Eurasia, the idea of something becomes as prominent as its reality. In other words they invoke new worlds because they want to, regardless of whether they really exist or not. And that, to us, is definitely a kind of magic.
Ghost Group, 2015. © Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs
Yellow Valley, 2014. © Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs
Door Hinge, 2014. © Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs
Axe 2015. © Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs
For more information, please visit The Photographer’s Gallery website.
The book is available to buy here.
The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize runs through to 11 June.