Metropolis and Relics of the Future (work in progress)
Dutch artist, Martin Roemers has been documenting the dramatic impact humanity has made on the globe for over 20 years. From his early series, “The Relics of the Cold War”, “Kabul” and “The Eyes of War” he studied issues of conflict and the tools of warfare. More recently in his largest project to date, “Metropolis” (2007 – 2015), Roemers moved on, indulging his fascination for the world’s megacities, attempting to capture the tangible energy, chaos and tumult of cities where more than ten million people live, work, and survive.
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Just over a century ago 13% of the world was urban. The United Nations predicts that 75 percent of the global population – close to six billion people – are expected to be concentrated in cities by the year 2050. The UN has also designated that 28 of these cities now meet their threshold of a ‘megacity’: defined as those cities with more than 10 million inhabitants.
Fascinated by these centres of exploding population, Martin Roemers created this series of images, documented in 22 megacities across five continents observing the sense of city as spectacle. Working painstakingly with a large format, analogue film camera, Roemers employs the gift of time and patience to illustrate the resilience and ingenuity required to exist in these megacities.
RELICS OF THE FUTURE (Work in Progress)
While working in India on Metropolis Roemers noticed a variety of strange looking colourful and battered vehicles. Traces of similar vehicles appeared in “Metropolis”. Roemers was curious how the car would be perceived if it was isolated out of its environment; like a relic of the future.
In today’s popular motorised culture, two important changes are in progress: The ‘Machine Age’ is coming to an end; vehicles running on gasoline and diesel are being replaced by electric vehicles. Upcoming alternatives of self-driving vehicles will quickly change the concept of cars and trucks as we know them. ‘Relics of the Future’ explores the symbiosis between a vehicle and its user in different regions across the world, illustrated in a time line that runs from the handcart to the electric car.
Martin Roemers uniquely understands the art of translating global themes into human dimensions. Throughout his career spanning over twenty years, his themes and subjects have clearly shown the extent to which he employs creativity and originality to develop visual concepts that contributed to his work’s increasing complexity and powerful narratives.
Roemers projects have been exhibited as solo and group presentations throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States, and have been showcased at Paris Photo and Art Miami. Roemers’ work has been acquired by public and private collections including; Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. In 2021 Roemers received the Stipend for Established Artists of the Mondriaan Fund and has received two World Press Photography awards. Articles. Reviews about Roemers’ work have appeared in The New York Times, The National Geographic, and The New Yorker.
Martin Roemers is represented by East Wing | Doha.
The artist lives and works in Delft, NL.
See more of Martin’s work at: www.martinroemers.com