The New Yorker (September 5th, 2011)
A breathtaking image by Lena Herzog opens Ian Frazier’s story this week on Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests—kinetic sculptures, resembling giant animal skeletons, that can walk on the beach, powered only by the wind. “I dropped by Theo’s laboratory in Ypenberg in the off season,” Herzog told me of the first time she met Jansen, in 2005. “A new beast was still evolving, a few ‘fossils’ of the old dead ones were strewn around in the grass, and many beautiful ideas were laid out on the fence.” She returned to the North Sea coast of Holland to see the creatures walk, and in 2007, began photographing Jansen and the Strandbeests.
I asked Herzog what she found most unexpected while photographing this project. “That it could make an optimist out of a Russian,” she said. “They make you think and they make you dream. In this disenchanted world, they re-enchant you, not in a falsely sweet or obvious way but in a special form of enchantment. I have even seen dogs go wild and horses balk at the sight of the Strandbeests. What more could you possibly ask of a work of art?”
Lena Herzog's portfolio on The New Yorker
Ian Frazier's article on Theo Jansen's Strandbeests with Lena Herzog's photograph