The PhotoBook Journal

October 8, 2015

Diane Vincent – OBEN


Copyright 2014 Diane Vincent

Photographer: Diane Vincent (born East Germany, resides Berlin, Germany)

Self-Published: Germany

Without pagination, captions or essay

Text: English (title is German, English translation: Over)

Stiff-cover book, printed dust-cover with hand sewn binding, black and white lithography, printed in Germany (Bookfactory, Bad Munder)

Editing: Diane Vincent and Paul Gaffney

Photobook designer: Diane Vincent

Notes: Diane’s unusual subject is one that most architects probably abhor, the roof tops of large buildings. This is the place where all of the necessary equipment and infrastructure that supports the buildings operation is situated. Roof tops are the usually the eye-sores of owners and tenets, who do their best in an attempt to hide the industrial equipment, as this is not usually a pretty site (pun intended). Although sometimes, this is a place that can with a lot of care become an oasis. If we were to stay at a hotel with this being the viewpoint out our window, we are apt to want to relocate to a room almost anywhere else in the hotel. She examines this universal industrial landscape with an impartial eye using a black & white documentary style. Industry design is about efficiency of the running of pipes on top of flat sheets of tar paper roofs. In her hands, this same landscape takes on an abstract expressionist quality. It was this same quality that captured the imagination of the Modernist photographers in the 1930’s, like Edward Weston and Charles Sheeler. Her graphic photographs become a tantalizing myriad of gray masses with bisecting lines and overlapping shapes.

Okay, this is where I admit that I have an industrial design degree and I completed a brief stint being responsible for the maintenance of a similar roof top industrial landscape a long time ago. Perhaps a reason that this body of work resonates with me.











  1. great book & pictures, thx.
    The title translates to “up” or “on top”. “over” would be “darüber”, or not in a locational but in a timeline sense “vorüber”.

    Comment by lyart — October 8, 2015 @ 4:53 am

  2. The Deutsch > English translation was provide by Vincent in her book, perhaps this was an literary interpretation for her English readers (all text in English)

    Comment by Doug Stockdale — October 8, 2015 @ 9:51 pm

    • Actually, I translated the title OBEN with ABOVE… it’s on the last page in the book.

      Comment by Diane Vincent — October 19, 2015 @ 7:45 pm

  3. […] So in advance I will reveal that I was involved in the development of this guide as a Beta reader, Editor and interviewed for one of the self-publishing Case Studies about my recently released Bluewater Shore. I was also joined by Clare Rowland, Tom Westbury, Euan Ross, Kalen Lee, Domenico Bruno Lobkowitz, David Flynn, Gabriele Harhoff and Uwe Bedenbecke in the Editing and other Case Studies were provided by Rohan Hutchinson, Gabrielle Harhoff, Nuno Moreira, Sebastien Tixier, Dustin Shum, Christophe le Toquin, Matej Sitar (America My Way), Sandra Koestler and Diane Vincent (OBEN). […]

    Pingback by Eanna de Freine – The Indie Photobook Publishing Guide | The PhotoBook Journal — August 8, 2017 @ 12:57 pm

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