Christopher Williams

b. 1956, Los Angeles, USA. Lives in Cologne and works in Düsseldorf


Christopher Williams
Christopher Williams, Plaubel Makinette 67, 2009


Christopher Williams has developed a practice that addresses the conventions, mechanisms, and aesthetics of the photographic medium and the art exhibition. This includes the precise texture of images, the constructed space of the studio, and the nature of captions and promotional texts. Williams references the iconography and aesthetic of mid-20th century advertising, and through subtle details weaves connections between the histories of modern art, cinema and political radicalism. The work Model: 1964 Renault Dauphine-Four, R-1095 [abridged title], 2000, shows a jet black car tipped on its side, shot on a film set in Los Angeles and referencing the barricades on the streets of 1968 Paris. This photograph is from a body of work called ‘For Example: Die Welt ist schön’ which references the iconic book The World is Beautiful, published in 1928 by German New Objective photographer Albert Renger-Patzsch. A second ongoing series ‘For Example: Dix-Huit Leçons Sur La Société Industrielle’ is named after the 1963 Raymond Aron book about the socio-economic schematics of the Cold War. From this series the diptych Plaubel Makinette 67, 2009 shows the front and back of the exposed metal chassis of a sough-after medium format camera from 1976, used by press photographers of the time. William’s approach is deeply rooted in conceptualism and institutional critique, offering a visually sumptuous analysis of industrial culture, in particular its structures of representation and classification.