From Industrial to Innovative: New Luxembourg Photography Space
There are many uses for an old industrial water tower and pumping station. But turning them into a major photography space is definitely one of the most innovative.
This ambitious project is being undertaken by the Centre national de l’audiovisuel in Luxembourg (CNA), who will launch the Waassertuerm and Pomhouse (water tower and pumping house) project on September 29 by creating two exhibition galleries in the buildings, as part of a larger CNA extension project on a nearby steel plant.
The water tower will feature an attention-grabbing circular gallery, which will permanently house The Bitter Years 1935-1941, an exhibition by Luxembourg-born US artist Edward Steichen, curated for New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1962.
Steichen’s exhibition — using photos from the Farm Security Administration — shows the harshness of life in rural America during the Great Depression, through a series of moving and compelling images which show forgotten parts of America during a deeply troubled period of history.
As a counterpoint to the historic context of Steichen’s exhibition hosted in the waassertuerm, the pomhouse will open with a thoroughly contemporary show, Coexistence, by UK artist Stephen Gill, who uses experimental techniques in his photography to provide abstract reflections on people and his surroundings, both in rural and city landscapes.
The renovated pomhouse will go on to host a series of temporary exhibitions, and, together with the waassertuerm, will provide an important new platform for photography, both in Luxembourg and beyond.
Title image: Girl at Gee’s Bend, Alabama. April, 1937, by Arthur Rothstein. Taken from Edward Steichen's The Bitter Years 1935-1941.