When we first glanced at the photos above, we thought we were looking at exquisitely restored shots of an early 20th century factory. All those wheels and cylinders and hulking steel contraptions: We half expected to see Charlie Chaplin sliding down the conveyor belt.
We were wrong, but just partly. The photographs do indeed capture an early 20th century factory, only they were snapped this year. Lebanese artist and photographer Charbel Abou Zeidan got unlimited access to the vaulting corridors of New Franco Belge, a carpet plant that has operated under various names since 1923, making the oldest mill in Belgium to still weave on its original site.
Who knows why images of old machines doing stuff are endlessly seductive, but they are. Zeidan’s are especially good because they’re so slick and stylized; they manage to pay homage to industrial production without looking like smarmy nostalgia for the Machine Age. Guess it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that when Zeidan isn’t taking photos of old weaving mills, one of his jobs is as a personal stage photographer for retro sexpot Dita Von Teese.
Zeidan tells Co.Design his technique was pretty basic. He used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and shot everything with a slow shutter speed. He also did some color correcting to play up the steely drama of the place.
Manufacturing Dreams is on display at the factory until the end of the year. Each photograph is available in a limited edition of three and costs between 2,300 and 4,900 Euros (about $3,300 to $7,000) not including shipping. More info here.