Photography: Fabrik, By Jakob Tuggener


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The Independent Culture

First published in Zurich in 1943, when neutral Switzerland's manufacturing was happily profiting from the Second World War, Jakob Tuggener's Fabrik, a sceptical pictorial critique of Swiss industry, was entirely out of step with the times.

Its images of factories and furnaces, turbines and workers – some derived from the brochures he produced in his day job as an industrial photographer – subtly undercut the myth of technical progress; their expressionistic and frequently disorienting compositions amounting to a kind of satirical constructivism.

A commercial failure in its day, it has since become a milestone in the history of the photography book.