|Aftermath, Photographs by Jörn Vanhöfen. |
Published by Hatje Cantz, 2011.
Reviewed by David Ondrik
Jörn Vanhöfen Aftermath
Photographs by Jörn Vanhöfen
Hatje Cantz, 2011. Hardbound. 160 pp., 70 color illustrations, 13-1/2x11".
Aftermath is a book filled with photographic evidence of how we're screwing up everything from the economy to the ecosystem. There are giant trash piles, recycle yards, abandoned ocean liners, dumped tires, the Chicago stock exchange, mega-malls, and roads to nowhere. They're all expertly photographed in gorgeous color, and printed at an impressive 9.5" x 11.5" so they're large enough to get lost in the details. It seems certain that Jörn Vanhöfen is a large format photographer of some sort, either film or pixels, and it's a good thing, as these images rely on a high level of detail to communicate effectively. Most of the work is straightforward documentation of various decrepit or soulless environments. Port Elizabeth #8865 shows a multi-level street system as it winds through an urban environment. There is an obvious stratification of wealth and power from the dark, filthy lower levels to the light, airy apartments in the upper side. It reminds me of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, and although it's not 2019 yet, Vanhöfen makes the case that we're getting closer to dystopia every day.
David Ondrik has lived in Albuquerque since the late 1970s. He was introduced to photography in high school and quickly appropriated his father’s Canon A-1 so that he could pursue this exciting artistic medium. He received his BFA, with an emphasis in photography, from the University of New Mexico and has been involved in the medium ever since. Ondrik is also a National Teaching Board Certified high school art teacher.