Bernd & Hilla Becher Fotografen Photographers
The Photographers Bernd & Hilla Becher
By Marianne Kapfer
94 min, 2012, color, black & white
with Bernd Becher, Hillla Becher, Max Becher, Thomas Struth, Thomas Ruff, Candida Höfer, Jörg Sasse, Laurenz Berges, Matthias Koch, Götz Diergarten, Susanne Lange, Ludger Derenthal , Lothar Schirmer
Blast furnaces, winding towers, preparation plants – traces of the industrial age being destroyed in many places – live on in the photographic works of Bernd and Hilla Becher.
Funded by Filmstiftung NRW
Hilla Becher (born Hilla Wobeser at 2nd September 1934 in Potsdam – died 10th October 2015 Düsseldorf) was a German conceptual photographer. She was well known for her industrial photographs, or typologies, with longtime collaborator and husband, Bernd Becher. Her career spanned more than 50 years and included photographs from the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Italy.
Hilla Becher, alongside her husband, received the Erasmus Prize, the Golden Lion at Venice Biennal, the Kaiserring Goslar and the Hasselblad Award. The Bechers founded the Düsseldorf School of Photography in the mid-1970s.
Bernd Becher (20 August 1931 – 22 June 2007) was born in Siegen. He studied painting at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart from 1953 to 1956, then typography under Karl Rössing at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1959 to 1961. He began working as freelance photographers for the Troost Advertising Agency in Düsseldorf, concentrating on product photography, where he met the photographer Hilla Becher. They married in 1961.In 1976, Bernd Becher started teaching photography at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (policy matters prevented Hilla’s simultaneous appointment), where he remained on the faculty until 1996. Before him, photography had been excluded from what was largely a school for painters. He influenced students that later made a name for themselves in the photography world. Former students of Bernd’s included Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte and Elger Esser.