Wolfgang Tillmans
Venus transit, clouds

2004, C-Print, 40 x 30 cm

On the 8th of June 2004, Wolfgang Tillmans (*1968) captures in four motives the outmost rare phenomenon of a venus transit. One sees the Venus as a little black disc in front of the Sun. This image is shown to the observer from Earth only when Earth, Venus and Sun are in perfect alignment. »In the 18th and 19th centuries the observation of this geometrical phenomenon had a huge scientific importance«, writes Tillmans about this work. »Researchers understood that they could calculate the distance between the Earth and the Sun through the exact observation and comparison of the passage times of Venus over the disk of the sun as recorded from distant points on Earth. (...) Observing the transit of 2004 through the telescope (...) had of course no scientific value, but it was a moving experience to see the actual mechanics of the sky work in front of my eyes.«

from: Wolfgang Tillmans, TRUTH STUDY CENTER, Taschen Verlag, 2005