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Andreas Gursky
99 Cent, 1999

Artwork Info

Artwork title
99 Cent
Artist name
Andreas Gursky
Date created
1999
Classification
photograph
Medium
chromogenic print face-mounted to acrylic
Dimensions
81 1/2 in. × 132 1/2 in. (207.01 cm × 336.55 cm)
Credit
The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Photo credit
Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
Copyright
© 2008 Andreas Gursky / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, Germany; Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York and Monika Spruth / Philomene Magers, Cologne/Munich
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/FC.714
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Audio Stories

A closer look at Gursky’s panoramic view of consumerism

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transcripts

SFX: Traffic, street sounds.

 

NARRATOR:

We’ve all been in one of these stores before, right? Photographer Andreas Gursky said when he drove by this 99 Cent store in Los Angeles, it called to him.

 

SFX: Screech of brakes. Rapid footsteps approach. Door swings open to the interior of a 99 cent store. Musak. The murmur of customers, the clatter of carts, and the monotonous chirp of a register, ringing up the same amount, over and over and over… 

 

NARRATOR:

Let’s pull back for a minute, and think about all these little packages and where they actually come from… 

 

SFX: A steam-whistle blast — a factory floor, industrial sounds 

 

NARRATOR: All this stuff. All of it made by…somebody. In a factory churning out mountains of packages like these. The packages travel on huge container ships across the ocean.  

 

SFX: Clang of a container hitting the dock, its doors swing open. For the next section, a building sea of sounds piling on top of each other — shipping sounds, plastic wrapping, the chugging of a ship through the sea, workers offloading, the beeping of a forklift, etc. until it all becomes an unintelligible cacophony. 

 

NARRATOR:  

— each containing boxes! Boxes full of boxes!  

 

SFX: Beep of a forklift backing up. Crack of a crate being pried open  

 

NARRATOR:  

With smaller boxes inside them, and inside those boxes —   

 

SFX: Boxcutter zipping through cardboard. Various hard tiny objects spill onto a vinyl floor.  

 

NARRATOR:  

Brightly colored candy, tiny plastic toys, flimsy disposable goods. And Gursky captured it here … 

 

SFX: Back to the 99 Cent Store interior

 

…in all its dazzling excess, neatly stacked and ready for purchase. All for the low, low price of… you guessed it. 

 

SFX: Chirp of the register

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Other Works by Andreas Gursky

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