Hilla Becher on photographing "industrial memorials"

Jörg Colberg translates an excerpt from a German interview with photographer artist Hilla Becher, who with husband Bernd catalogued water towers, smokestacks and factories in stark black-and-white photographic prints:
Q: You spent your life photographing industrial memorials: Hundreds of furnaces, hundreds of water towers, hundreds of coal bunkers. Is this about being complete?

A: At the end of his life, Bernd often said: Hilla, we haven't finished the job. And then we almost started fighting because I said: What do you think? We can't finish our job, since it's infinite.

Q: Was it difficult for him to accept this?

A: I think it was. He never managed to tell me what he meant by "finished". We knew we would not be able to photograph everything.
Above: Bernd and Hilla Becher, (Blast Furnace) Neuves Maisons, Lorraine, France, 1971, silver gelatin print

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