Vera Lutter was born in 1960 in Germany. She lives in New York City.
"Vera Lutter creates large-scale photographs representing scenes of contemporary architecture, transportation, and industry. The process she uses leads to images that are both immediately recognizable and yet strangely alien. Lutter employs a device known as a camera obscura ("dark room" in Latin), which was used to produce direct images of reality for several centuries before the invention of photography. A camera obscura is made by creating a small opening in an otherwise sealed room or chamber. Light from an external source penetrates the opening, which acts as a lens, and is cast, upside down, on an opposite surface. To make an image, Lutter creates a temporary camera obscura at a site and places a large sheet of photosensitized paper where the projected image falls, exposing it to the light. The exposure may last hours or even days, and Lutter usually remains in the room for the entire period. When the image is developed it is in negative form.
[...]While Lutter's images are direct, virtually unmediated records of the world as it is, her work should not be mistaken for straightforward objective documentation. As critic and curator Russell Ferguson observes: ‘Their implacability evokes not the techniques of scientific observation but rather a reverie driven by the equally implacable passing away of time itself. Past and present are brought together in a moment of stillness that is in fact achieved only over an extended period. The long length of the exposure...filters out all the incidental movement and bustle of daily life, leaving only the skeleton of a present that is steadily and irrevocably receding into the past."