tough form

Bas Princen, photographer. Cooling Plant, Dubai, 2009

Aaron Rothman, in Landscape and Illusion, writes that in Bas Princen's images 'buildings take on the morphology, presence and muteness of mountains'.  This particular piece has all the presence of a giant meteor flung from space to the glassy ephemeral surfaces of Dubai. It is a building, but it is also an image, and the particular mise-en-scene with the indigo jumpsuited workers, the heaps of rubble, the dirt road — could be cut out of the Khyber Pass – places the cooling plant as a hinge between making something and looking at something, specifically the towers of the super-rich in the background.  The towers need this plant, the plant needed the workers; that bit will soon be erased.

Stephanie Whitephotography