German photographer Mat Hennek's unpeopled portraits of some of the world's most populous cities
In Silent Cities, German photographer Mat Hennek (born 1969) presents portraits of some of the world's great cities—from New York, Los Angeles and London, to Tokyo, Munich and Abu Dhabi—yet all curiously lacking people.
Conceived and constructed by man as vessels for human activity, these metropolises are transformed by Hennek into monuments of silence: empty, sometimes eerie sites for rituals of work and recreation that are yet to take place.
Whether the shimmering windows of a Dallas office building, a lush Hong Kong garden of palms, blooms and fountains, the famed pastel terraced facades of Monaco or rows of trolleys outside the concrete bulk of Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, Hennek's pictures demonstrate a consistent formal rigor and recast familiar environments as new sources for focus and reflection.
In Woodlands, German photographer Mat Hennek (born 1969) presents portraits of trees, the results of numerous hikes through various forests in Europe and the US. Hennek sets out to discover extraordinary places in remote and often difficult-to-access areas, traveling for days on paths remote from human civilization. Hennek removes all spatial landmarks, alternately erasing the ground and horizon to unhinge any sense of direction. Light and shadow, pattern and structure build up to an impressionistic hymn--infinite, without a center, without beginning or end. As author Laureline Amanieux writes, “man is not needed in these works, as it is the viewer who becomes wholly integrated in the bosom of nature.” Through a graphic style that sublimates the landscape into pure abstraction, Hennek eliminates the border between painting and photography.