new-york

Michael Spano

Laurence Miller Gallery

Michael Spano’s black and white photographs document the wrecks of the bunkers that once formed what was known as the “Atlantic Wall”—Nazi Europe’s line of defense against Allied invasion. At times, Spano zeroes in on a bunker, revealing its peculiarly absurd if still ominous character; at others, he shows a bunker heroically isolated against bleak terrain that stretches to a distant horizon. Clearly, there is something more to these eloquently stark photographs than the urge to document the instruments of war: the bunker becomes a monument to human folly, a metaphor for the futility of civilization itself.

This is reflected in the conflict between manmade constructions and the natural environment—the latter’s inexorable triumph over and destruction of the former—that this series of photographs depicts. For Spano, the struggle between the two is of a fundamentally existential nature, a

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