Photographer Martin Roemers' latest series, Metropolis, documents the interaction of people with their modern, urban, dwellings. Each photo is a long exposure shot, taken with a Mamiya 7 on medium format 6x7 film, and are all titled 'work in progress'.
The above images are street scenes from around India. Cities featured include Mumbai and Calcutta..
Unlike the famous long exposure Daguerrotype Boulevard du Temple, Paris, Spring 1838, by Louis Daguerre, where none of the traffic and people, save 2 men, in the bustling Parisian street scene were captured, Roemers’ photographs show snakelike trains, cars and even camels, with trails, or tails, of light tracing their tracks. With all the dozens, likely almost a hundred, people darting in and out of stores, buses, and across the street, more swashes of light are painted alongside those of the larger vehicles. Unlike the Daguerrotype, there’s no ghost town among these photographs!
Image via iconology
The above image is a street scene from Jakarta..
The fascination for Roemers lies in how being in the chaos found in some of the world’s busiest streets makes him feel. As he states, in an interview on Noorderlicht, “For me, the street is a theatre. Each street is a stage where its different inhabitants – like actors in a play – try to find their way in the modern urban society, day in, day out.”
The above image is a street scenes from Cairo.
The adage, given by Roemers above, coincidentally reminds me of the Boulevard du Crime – the nickname given to the Boulevard du Temple! Why’s this? Well, the boulevard is well known, in French history, for its many theatres. It’s interesting to note, that with over 20,000 people frequenting the area every night, among them many of the theatre’s actors, Roemers’ observation of the street being like a theatre, and the pedestrians like actors, was, once-upon-a-time, a reality!