No line on the horizon

The New York based Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto is well known for producing photographs in series. Since the late 1970s, he has worked on several series that have together encompassed seascapes, dioramas,and movie theatres. “He meticulously selects and then researches subjects, returning to the same few time and time again, taking pictures and then producing technically immaculate black and white prints of absorbing clarity and density”. (Notes from exhibition at White Cube Gallery, London)

Sugimoto uses a large-format camera and long exposures to create works that attempt to arrest whole slices of time, and encourage reflection on the nature of time and space. In his seascapes, the horizon bisects the exact centre of the image, creating stark blocks of grey and black, separating sea and sky.

The use of Sugimoto’s image of the Boden Sea by U2 for the cover of “No Line On The Horizon” is not as some have suggested, a “selling out” of artistic principles. The relationship between the band and the photographer is documented here in an interview in ‘The Japan Times’. A symbiosis of seascapes and soundscapes indeed…

And as an interesting footnote, its not the first time that this image has been used as a CD cover. Check out Pitchfork for more information.

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