Contact Sheet 098: Max Becher and Andrea Robbins
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Light Work (August 31, 1998)
This catalogue features work from Max Becher and Andrea Robbins and German Indians series. In their words:
In the 1960s, after a period of economic decline, the logging town of Leavenworth, Washington decided to alter its image in order to attract tourism. From among such themes as Italy and The Wild West, Bavaria was chose as the new look from the town, not because of any significant cultural connection, but mostly because the surrounding landscape resembles alpine Germany. Despite some local protests, the town council instituted “bavarianization” in order to create a cohesive experience to the visitor: a schedule of annual events and the imposition of new tax laws, zoning regulations, architectural elements, and even a limited set of Germanic typefaces, on all commercial enterprises.
Within a decade, tourists came in large numbers and the town’s economy turned around. Many businesses have moved in to participate, and some residents have voluntarily bavarianized their homes. Still, many residents are conflicted about the town’s transformation, because it contradicts their faith in unrestricted resource development and obscures the town’s actual history. On the other hand, this “old world” economic and cultural conformity has proved very profitable and created the most recognizable place in the area.
— Max Becher and Andrea Robbins, 1995/1996
Max Becher received his BFA from Cooper Union School of Art, and his MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
Andrea Robbins received her BFA from Cooper Union School of Art and also attended Hunter College School of Art, both in New York City.
Their work has been exhibited internationally, and is featured in numerous collections around the world including at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Maison Europeenne de la Photographie (MEP) in Paris, among many others.