This photograph by Ebbe Stub Wittrup belong to a series featuring the so-called “devil’s bridges” that span rivers and gorges across Europe. These medieval structures later appeared to locals to be superhuman feats of engineering, giving rise to folktales that associated the builders with the devil (whether as an adversary or an accomplice). Wittrup’s black-and-white photos, shot with a large-format camera from the point of view of someone traveling nearby on foot, capture the bridges in impressive perspective and detail, but they also eliminate most signs of people or modern life. In this way, they recreate the view of the bridges as they have appeared to people for hundreds of years, ultimately questioning how the structures, stories, and values of the past persist in the landscape of the present.
Label from We the People: New Art from the Collection, October 23, 2018–July 21, 2019