The Nature of Photography: Contradictive

 

Martin Roemers, Mumbai, India, 2007, from the series “Metropolis”

Martin Roemers, Mumbai, India, 2007, from the series “Metropolis”

Martin Roemers: Metropolis

February 29-April 8, 2012

Anastasia Photo

166 Orchard Street

New York, NY

Martin Roemers imbues his photographs with the accelerated pace of the modern world. Metropolis, named after his series of the same name, documents traffic in India, the Middle East, and the Pacific. This investigation of “Megacities” is an evolving project that won him first prize in the World Press Photo competition in 2011. Public transportation and foot traffic transform into wide streaks of candy-colored energy, revealing the interactions between mechanical and natural crowds.

Martin Roemers, Victoria Station, Mumbai, India, 2007, from the series “Metropolis”

Martin Roemers, Victoria Station, Mumbai, India, 2007, from the series “Metropolis”

Incessant activity and the rigidity of stoic scenery are in direct contradiction to one another. In Mumbai, India (2007), a busy street is flanked by decrepit balconies and dilapidated vendor booths that sandwich a busy crowd of shoppers. Manila, Phillipines (2010) depicts a group of adolescent boys observing passing vehicles. In both images, unmoving and thus clearer subjects are those in the most danger. Garbage, nature, and faulty architecture are sharp and disposable. The figures and vehicles, in their affinity toward change, are versatile and adaptable. Cars and speed become indicators of advancement in opposition to the environment they’ve infiltrated. They morph into abstract components, beautiful in themselves yet separate from the surrounding delirium of what seems like a struggling landscape. Roemers’s abstraction vouches  for the double-edged sword of progress.

Martin Roemers, Manila, Philippines, 2010, from the series “Metropolis”

Martin Roemers, Manila, Philippines, 2010, from the series “Metropolis”

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About Lynn Maliszewski, Contributor-at-Large

Lynn Maliszewski is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She curated and composed work for ArtWrit, BOMB Magazine, HAHA Magazine, Hyperallergic, LatinLover, Modern Painters, No.3, Whitehot Magazine, and Whitewall. She is currently the Contributor-at-Large for ON-VERGE, an arts journalism blog sponsored by CUE Art Foundation, until 2013. She hosts her own blog, Contemporaneous Extension, as a compendium of aesthetic interests, archived exhibitions and artists, and uncensored inferences. She has contributed editorially to the College Art Association, the Bushwick Film Festival, Like the Spice Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art.
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