Picture This

Wolfgang Tillmans

One of the world’s leading contemporary artists, the photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, visited CERN on April 2nd with his Berlin gallerist Daniel Bucholtz.

Winner of the Turner prize in 2000, Wolfgang had been invited by the Arts@CERN team in 2012, but managed to squeeze in a visit during his hectic schedule which included a major opening at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm (October 2012 -January  2013) and his latest one in Dusseldorf.

He said that he wished to visit CERN because "my area of interest is specifically in the particle detectors and imaging. What can one see. How is it made visible? I am interested in the hardware but also the ordinary computer screens that show what is detected. Do scientist actually need anything visual, or do they just produce visuals for the media and public?”

You can see photographs of Wolfgang taking a picture of a wall with his back to the great ATLAS detector as well as encountering the electrical engineers who work on pixel detection and imaging. He also got intrigued by the anti-matter hall and got up close and personal with the CMS detector too. After all, the detectors are the biggest cameras in the world, so what could be more appropriate than this great photographer meeting them?


As part of his creative process, he takes hundreds of photographs and does not look at them for 3 months. He then decides whether to show any of them to the public. He contacted us to say he had selected this photo of the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment out of the hundreds of photographs he took during his visit to display. It was displayed as part of his solo exhibition at Les Rencontres des Arles in France until September 22nd, 2013.


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