Max Becher, Art 1986, with partner and wife Andrea Robbins, Art 1987, create work that document the “transportation of place.” Their art examines how notions of place, and hence identity, have become dislocated as a result of slavery, diaspora, colonialism, holocausts, immigration and tourism.
Robbins and Becher met at The Cooper Union in 1984 while they were both students, and they began working collaboratively using photography film and video. Some of their artistic subjects have included Germans who dress as Native Americans, a neighborhood in Havana, Cuba that looks like Wall Street in New York, descendants of freed American slaves in the Dominican Republic, a Brooklyn Hassidic headquarters building that has been copied and rebuilt around the world, German Colonial towns in Namibia and the relocated London Bridge in Lake Havasu, Arizona. They have followed and photographed African American Cowboy culture throughout the United States, engaged in a study of value theory economics in relation to tourist attractions, artifacts and objects of exchange within closed systems; and examined isolated individuals, hermits and recluses.
Their work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of major museums, including the Whitney Museum, Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf, the Kunstverein Hamburg and SK Stiftung in Cologne. Books published on their work include The Transportation of Place from Aperture (2006), Portraits from The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (2008), and Brooklyn Abroad from the Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf (2005).
Robbins and Becher lecture extensively, and teaching has always been an important part of their practice. For the past 15 years, Robbins has taught photography and Becher has taught digital media at The Cooper Union, Rutgers University and The University of Florida.
Max Becher and Andrea Robbins each received the Cooper Union President’s Citation in 2011.
- Genocchino, Ben, Show gives Art History New Meaning, The New York Times, December 31, 2006. Link
- The Transportation of Place: Andrea Robbins & Max Becher, Museum of Contemporary Photography– Exhibitions–2003, Columbia College of Chicago. Link
- Johnson, Ken, ART IN REVIEW; Andrea Robbins and Max Becher, The New York Times, March 12, 2004. Link
- Gluck, Grace, ART IN REVIEW; Andrea Robbins and Max Becher — ‘German Indians’ — ‘Bavarian by Law’, The New York Times, December 31, 1999. Link
- Andrea Robbins and Max Becher, Wikipedia. Link
- ANDREA ROBBINS & MAX BECHER – Das Wie am Was | film edition, YouTube, 2018. Link
Taken from 2011 Cualumni.com posting and updated in 2018.