Transportation and Voyage
Vera Lutter Transportation and Voyage Project Statement
Kvaerner Shipyard, Rostock, Warnemünde, IX: December 5, 2000

My photographic investigation into travel, transportation, and voyage began in 1997 in a shipyard in Warnemünde, Germany. I later made images of planes in hangars at the Lemwerder Airfield in Lower Saxony, Germany, and in 1999, I photographed a Zeppelin and shortly after an oil rig being constructed. In the early 2000s I gained access to make work at Frankfurt Airport and 30th Street Station in Philadelphia.

The work I make around transportation and voyage considers the relationship between the object photographed, a vessel, and the camera obscura. The vessel—an airplane, train car, ship, or Zeppelin—functions as a medium of transfer for either people or merchandise. My camera, often a shipping container itself, or simply a dark room, accommodates both darkness and light, enabling two operations, a factual transfer of light to image and a metaphorical transfer of idea embedded in phenomenon.

Often, airports, train stations, harbors, hangars, and shipyards are depicted as nostalgic places with a view backwards in time. They can be shown as melancholic sites that exist somewhere between memory and expectation. In reality, these sites are non-places, transitional loci made to be voided. From my desolate trainyard scenes at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia to my images of planes at Frankfurt Airport, my work is never representational, instead I aim to capture an essential experience of place and wish to investigate the objects used for our own movement and for the transportation of goods around the world.