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Deutsches Technikmuseum - Max de Esteban

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:


The donation contains six locations:

B/W photo: Analog Camera


B/W photo: Polaroid Camera


B/W photo: Cassette


B/W photo: Super 8 Film Camera


B/W photo: Instant Camera


B/W photo: Transistor Portable Record Player


Max de Esteban: The passage of time

2 September 2014 to 1 February 2015

Gallery at the Photo Technology permanent exhibition

B/W photo: Portable Radio-Cassette


The Spanish artist, Max de Esteban, photographs the inner workings of obsolete equipment.
To do this, he takes appliances like tape recorders, typewriters or video cameras apart with the aim of making their "spirit" visible.

This "spirit" is what de Esteban believes to be lacking in modern appliances, which are merely fitted with microchips, all of which look identical.

15 images - reminiscent of X-rays or CT scans

How does he create this effect? Max de Esteban is a graduated civil engineer, something that has heavily influenced his artistic work. First, he dismantles the objects into up to fifty elements, thus exposing their mechanisms. Then he sprays the individual parts with white paint. The colour white symbolises the "soul" for him.

De Esteban then reassembles the objects again layer by layer, taking a photograph at every level. Finally, between five to seven of these detailed shots are then superimposed on one another using a computer. In this way he creates a new overall picture that draws the eye inwards.

B/W photo: Transistor Portable Record Player


What remains?

Through his work, the artist penetrates into the "soul" of things. In his pictures he focuses on the mechanics and electronics of older objects, at the same time criticising the accelerated aging of today's commodities. For him, rapid transience is a sign of modern throw-away society.

What do we have from the constant progress of technology? And what will museums be able to exhibit in the future? A series of microchips?

Prompting you to think

Max de Esteban calls his work "Propositions", abbreviated to PO. This alludes to theorems, memorable sayings or suggestions. He sees his work as a way of prompting us to reflect on our own consumer behaviour.


Max de Esteban (born 1959) lives and works in Barcelona. He holds a degree in Civil Engineering and began his career as a photographer first with advertising contracts. He has learned the artistic craft in his student days. In the late 1980s he worked as an assistant for several photographers in Spain. Since 2009, de Esteban is exclusively dedicated to artistic projects.

Header photo: Detail of PO 5 / Analog Camera
Copyrights: Max de Esteban, 2011