Marvin Zilm

Men at Work

Absorbed, Oblivious, Bored, Routined

Work occupies a central place in the life of modern man. It assigns us to our place in the social hierarchy, is a source of identity and screen onto which we project our personalities, making it a major chapter in our biographies, and not least importantly, it is how we make a living. Fanning out these different aspects, the photographer Marvin Zilm’s (b. Karlsburg, 1973; lives and works in Zurich and Berlin) series Men at Work takes us on a tour to questions of status, class, and masculinity. The photographs were taken as he traveled to various jobs, as byproducts on trips as well as strolls over the past six years, and show construction workers, gardeners, waiters, street artists, farmers, lifeguards around the globe. As a study of contemporary society, Zilm’s works draw our attention to the limitations of lives trapped in the structures of the everyday, but also to experiences of comforting routine in an ever more fast-paced postmodern world in crisis. 

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