Presented on a monumental scale, Andreas Gursky’s Mercedes (Rastatt) depicts the humming frenzy of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt, Germany, the company’s main production site. A lattice of endless conveyor belts and half-finished cars fills the photograph, crisply captured in the bright fluorescent light. Created in 1993, another edition from the series is held in the collection of the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Turning a characteristically dispassionate lens onto the factory floor, Gursky stitches together a heightened reality in which microscopic details are rendered alien and abstract. Mercedes (Rastatt) is flooded with information, owing to the artist’s ‘god-like’ vantage point: ‘I stand at a distance,’ Gursky has said, ‘like a person who comes from another world. I just record what I see’ (A. Gursky, quoted in C. Squiers, 'Concrete Reality’, Ruhr Works, September 1988, p. 29). Gursky’s images bear the hallmarks of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s tuition, his instructors at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie whose deadpan photographic aesthetic was hugely influential for the young artist. Like the Bechers, who documented architectural typologies across Europe, Gursky too embraces a sense of objectivity, producing sharp and utterly absorbing images that transcend what the eye can observe. Exploiting the photograph’s capacity as both an engine of construction and a vehicle for truth, he offers a thrilling visual spectacle and composite understanding of a complex reality. Mercedes (Rastatt) shows the world as uncanny and disquieting, but also sublime.