Vandenberg Project – The Life Above Refined Below
The Sinking World of Andreas Franke
With his underwater project The Sinking World, Andreas Franke brings strange, sunken, forgotten
worlds back to life and presents them in an entirely new context.
In 2009 the wreck of a ship called the USS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg was lowered down into
the darkness of the ocean, off the coast of Florida to a depth of 130 feet. There, at exactly 24.27 N,
81.44 W it would subsist as an artificial reef in a realm of submarine secrecy. The mysterious
emptiness of the wreck conquered the mind of the passionate diver and photographer Andreas
Franke’s work forms strong dichotomies: the soft, mysterious underwater emptiness of resting
shipwrecks matched with real sceneries from above, full of vitality and exuberance. This creates an
entirely new world, bizarre and disturbing, yet irresistible.
But the resting giants do not only serve as fascinating and unique settings to Andreas Franke’s
stagings. They also make for magnificent venues.
An underwater gallery, which does not only hold divers spellbound. The ocean leaves peculiar
and impressive traces on the pictures. The weeks and months under water bequeath Andreas
Franke’s works with a special, unique patina, which beautifies them and leaves a strange touch of
impermanence. These mysterious, refined beauties are finally to be seen on land. Right here, right
In the meantime at 24.27 N, 81.44 W, on board of the USS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, everything
is once more dark and silent.
The renowned, Austrian photographer and passionate diver Andreas Franke on his work:
With my photographs of submerged shipwrecks I try to create illusionary worlds far from the typical
commercial photography and seduce the observer with new, unreal, foreign worlds. The mystified
scenes from the past take place in a fictive space. These are dream worlds that one can get lost in
but with which one can also identify. They breed a novel and unexpected atmosphere.