Interior, Cocktail Lounge, Menzies Hotel

ONE OF MY FAVOURITE Australian photographers is Wolfgang Sievers, who fled Nazi Germany to make a commercial career photographing Australian factories, mines, refineries, office buildings, and construction sites. He was a modernist, who liked to remove all the people from his photographs and capture the places as the gigantic machines for abstract production that they, in a sense, were. If like me you like extremely geometric pictures of other people’s workplaces, you’ll like Sievers.

Sometimes though there’s a photograph that goes against the grain of the rest of the otherwise spare and formal collection, in a glorious way, and even though formally posed, just captures a moment. The interior of the Cocktail Lounge, Menzies Hotel, 509 Bourke Street Melbourne is just such a picture.

Waiter, two whiskey sours and a pink gin! Thanks mate!

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