About the Photographer
Italian, b. 1966
Armin Linke works with photography, film, and new media to document landscape and infrastructure as indicators of human activity and historical change. Adopting an objective documentary style with a penchant for distanced observation, Linke’s work functions as visual research. Through traveling the world he creates a vast and continually expanding archive of sites in the midst of transformation, and this excess of imagery acts as an attempt to visualize the complexity of social, economic, and political relationships. Landscape is often the organizational principle of his projects, as it becomes the backdrop and connective tissue of globalization and links seemingly disconnected industries through geographical context. Linke’s images challenge viewers’ preconceived notions of a place. In "Grand Dixence Dam, Sion, Switzerland" (2004)—the world’s highest gravity dam situated in the midst of the Alps—the imagery contradicts the common visualization of the Alps as a pristine and rural terrain free of modern industry. Many of Linke’s images include a blank, white space at the bottom of the prints. These spaces prevent the viewer from becoming absorbed in the space or action of the photograph, instead serving both as a reminder of the constructed nature of images and as a visual metaphor for the artificiality of infrastructure.
Linke was born in Italy of German descent in 1966. He has exhibited extensively internationally, including at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (2000); Whitechapel Project Space, London, UK (2003); Tate Gallery, London, UK (2005); Venice Biennale (Art Biennale 2003, International Architecture Exhibition 2004 and 2006); Bienal de São Paulo (2002, 2008); and the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2011). His work has also been screened internationally, including at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2005, 2010); 67th Venice International Film Festival (2010); and Visions du Réel, Nyon, Switzerland (2011). Linke was awarded the Special Prize for best work in the Episodes section at the Venice Biennale 9th International Architecture Exhibition (2004) for his multimedia installation about the Alpine landscape, created with Italian architect Piero Zanini. Linke has taught at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy; Kunsthistorisches Institut, Universität Zürich, Switzerland; and Università luav di Venezia, Italy. Currently he is on faculty at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, Germany, and is a Research Affiliate at the MIT Visual Arts Program in Cambridge, MA. Linke lives in Milan, Italy, and Berlin, Germany.