Topography of the Titanic
Kai Olaf Hesse
Related Exhibition: Topography of Titanic
Publisher: Belfast Exposed Photography and ex pose verlag
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Four years ago Belfast Exposed commissioned Kai-Olaf Hesse to photograph Belfast’s shipyard Harland & Wolff on Queens Island, and various sites related to the building of RMS Titanic. Through the legacy of Titanic, Hesse attempts to create a continuous visual line between the past and the present. He has photographed key historic buildings and sites, many from the same viewpoints from which they were photographed at the turn of the century. Hesse is interested in historical resonances and how they might find a place in the new tourist orientated function of the site. Plans for a ‘Titanic Quarter’ in Belfast are underway, it is proposed that these developments will create a tourism destination of world stature based on the legacy of Titanic and Belfast’s industrial heritage. Hesse is interested in how the legacy of Titanic and the confidence and optimism that it once represented can be made visible through both the historic topographies and the built environment of the island, and through less tangible emblematic suggestions and anecdotal accounts.
Belfast Exposed is now delighted to have an opportunity to launch a publication of Kai’s work accompanied by historic photographs from the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum’s photographic collection of work by R. J. Welch, W. A. Green and Alexander Hogg documenting the modern shipbuilding project during the city’s industrial height in the early part of the 20th century. The book will also feature essays by David Bate, John Stathatos and Ian Walker and quotes from interviews conducted by Ruth Graham with former shipyard workers and members of the Ulster Titanic Society.
Supported by the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation.