People in the Elevator / Heinrich Riebesehl
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5 Hours and 35 Minutes with a Camera in the Elevator of a Publishing House
On November 20, 1969, Heinrich Riebesehl (born 1938) visited the premises of the Neue Hannoversche Presse, where he photographed people in the elevator using a more or less concealed camera for five hours and 35 minutes.
The set-up had rigidly defined parameters: a small space, whose layout was virtually square, illuminated by cool ceiling lights, and a small-format camera equipped with a wide-angle lens and cable release. And the specific timeframe featured a cross-section of the various social strata associated with the publishing house.
Similar to Walker Evans's Subway Portraits, Riebesehl's photographic project could be considered a photographic genre painting, depicting aspects of everyday life by capturing ordinary people going about their business. Riebesehl focused on the conceptual task at hand, retaining absolute control of the image without the knowledge or cooperation of his subjects.
Edited with text by Inka Schube
Designed by Fabian Bremer and Pascal Storz
Published by Spector Books and Sprengel Museum Hannover, 2018
Bilingual, in German and English
Hardcover, 112 pages, 50 b&w images, 6 × 7.75 inches
Comes with a folded broadside featuring Riebesehl's contact prints