An exhibition up—possibly for just one more day—over at University College, Dublin, features photos by James Young. For the last 10 months, Young has been assembling a typological study of water towers in Ireland. Young describes it as “part inventory, part photographic essay and part history.”
Of course, Young’s work has presumably been greeted with very many comparisons to the work of Bernd & Hilla Becher.
Many of the structures are militaristic and even explicitly fortress-like. They are prisons for water.
Others could be mistaken for ornamental menhirs, functionless and inexplicable totems standing patiently in the fog and rain.
I just wanted to post a few of my favorite images here, but then urge you to look through the many other examples over at the Water Towers of Ireland website.
You’ll see, among other things, that many of the more forensic portraits, as seen above, have been twinned with casual, souvenir-like Polaroid shots—such as this one, in Castlemoyle, the very first tower posted on Young’s site.
Perhaps this last one heralds the aborted start of a new branch in architectural history, that of mycological brutalism.