16 Views of the Golden Gate Bridge

January 27, 2015 § 1 Comment

Golden Gate 1

I admit it – multiple views of the same landmark isn’t exactly an original idea. After all, Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (1826-33) only stood on its own for a mere quarter-century before Hiroshige decided to go him one better. And then, in 1902, Henri Rivière put his own spin on the idea, creating a series of 36 lithographs, not of a mountain but a piece of architecture: 36 Views of the Eiffel Tower.

Henri Rivière, La Tour en construction (Plate 32, 36 Vues de la Tour Eiffel, 1902)

Henri Rivière, La Tour en construction (Plate 32, 36 Vues de la Tour Eiffel, 1902)

One of the first exhibitions I ever curated was on Rivière’s prints (including a couple of plates from the Eiffel Tower series), and while I was working on it I happened to visit San Francisco. I wondered whether anyone had ever attempted 36 Views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It took four years to realise, but a few weeks ago I finally walked across the bridge for the first time, camera in hand.

I knew I was only going to get 16 views (the maximum number of shots on a roll of 120 film) but a surprise was waiting for me when I collected my prints. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but the images had bled and overlapped each other so that each shot becomes a sort of triptych. As I leafed through the photos, my dismay quickly turned to surprised pleasure. Another happy accident – another reason I’ll always love working with film.

Golden Gate 2

Golden Gate 3

Golden Gate 4

Golden Gate 5

Golden Gate 6

Golden Gate 7

Golden Gate 8

Golden Gate 9

Golden Gate 10

Golden Gate 11

Golden Gate 12

Golden Gate 13

Golden Gate 14

Golden Gate 15

Golden Gate 16

(Technical specs: Diana F+ camera, 100 colour negative film, 38mm super-wide angle lens)

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