Dubai Transmutations

Martin Becka has taken and developed a series of scenic photographs of Dubai using only equipment from the 18th century. They are Fox Talbot Calotype Waxed paper negatives, taken with a view camera from 1857, and the work was engraved on copper plates, inked and printed on hand made paper. The result is a marriage of antique and contemporary; modern-day Dubai seen through the lens of yesteryear. The scenes depicted in the 40 photographs have an eerie other-worldliness about them and seem almost an anachronistic archaeological study.



For this project, Martin Becka has captured the city of Dubai using techniques that date back to the very beginnings of photography. By staging a collision between the historical and the present time, Becka creates a deliberate anachronism and therewith takes us far from the usual expectations we harbour towards Dubai. In Becka’s earthly warm and exquisitely detailed salted paper prints a monument has been erected for the future generations of Dubai.

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