Presented in Partnership with Cafe Scientifique/Project Tesseract
Please join us for an artist talk with Martin Roemers to celebrate the opening of his exhibition Metropolis. Talk at 5:00pm - Opening reception commences at 7:00pm.
Martin Roemers understands like no other the art of translating global themes into human dimensions. During more than twenty years of photography, his successive subjects have clearly shown the extent to which he seeks visual concepts that justify his work’s increasing complexity. H
is recent and largest project to date - Metropolis
(2007-2015) - is based on a long-time fascination with megacities like Mumbai and New York. When he was in Mumbai in 2003, Roemers asked himself how he could encapsulate in a single image the boundless, almost tangible energy, chaos and tumult of a city of more than ten million people.
He focused on centres of business such as market places and main roads, while working with a slightly elevated position and a slow shutter speed. In this way, the endless stream of people, trains, cars, rickshaws and cyclists is transformed into an image of a single, vast and indefinable source of energy that hurtles between static elements including houses, stalls and merchandise. The eighty photos, which Roemers has since made of megacities worldwide, have something overwhelming in their simplicity. In Metropolis
, he shows you what really lurks behind those neutral, metropolitan statistics. However, his powerfully concentrated accumulation of human activity can be viewed in different ways. Does it constitute the dire consequences of global urbanisation? Or simply the basics of a metropolitan economy? The abstraction concealed in every good photo becomes palpable in the improbable balance between static and dynamic forces. And no matter how extreme, in Roemers’ photos that balance remains intact.
After graduating from the AKI Academy of Fine Arts in Enschede, Roemers has lived and worked in Delft, the Netherlands. His work has been included in exhibitions and collections throughout the world including Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and the Museum for Fine Arts in Houston, Texas; it is represented by galleries in Paris, Dubai and New York.
(Text by Els Barents,
Founding Director of the Huis Marseille and the first Photography Curator of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.)