Andreas Gursky's photographs are large, bold, ravishing and surprising. They are vast and infinite in their detail and manage to capture more than our eyes can see, in clearer focus and with more saturation and intensity. Stock exchanges, packed arenas, busy factory floors, industrial-looking apartment buildings and midnight techno raves attended by thousands-- Gursky's world view of the 1990s is emblematic of a time when globalization as a term came to mean something concrete and universally agreed upon.
In Mayday II, Gursky condenses the human experience of the rave in a perfectly stage-like picture plane, eliminating any discernable eye or point of view from the photographer. There is a flattening of the individual and all are indeed one. "The stock exchange and rave pictures are made to resemble each other at the level of abstraction toward which all of Gursky's mature pictures strive. The aim is to obliterate the contingencies of perspective, so that the subject appears to present itself without the agency or interference of an observer; and to select and shape the view so that it suggests not a part or an aspect but a perfectly self-contained whole, corresponding to a mental picture or concept. Even if the scene evidently extends beyond the frame, the manifest implication is that everything essential is included; what lies outside can only be more of the same." (Peter Galassi in Andreas Gursky, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2001, p.30). Perhaps more than other works from the 1990s, Gursky's rave images may come to symbolize the abundant, sparkling, expensive moment, when technology was the organizing structure of the world and we were utterly innocent.