URBAN FEVER. Big city photographs
Cities are peculiar formations.
They are noisy, hectic, reckless, confusing, emotionally cold, alienating, and lonely.
Nevertheless, all cities preserve a slice of the seemingly naturalistic village.
Their inhabitants are always looking for familiar settings to call home, just like in villages.
When I started to take pictures with the city as my muse, I especially captured the residents and how they arranged their lives.
I always try to discover the poetry of everyday life, such as the moments that make me stop and small scenes that trigger stories in the viewer, who reflects on minute details of the person portrayed—who he is, what he is doing, where he comes from, where he is going, what preoccupies him, and what is important to him.
If I walk through big cities, my movements within the city affect my photography.
I get to know people as I watch strangers. Moreover, I have no strict photographic concepts that I wish to implement.
Life does not follow a concept. It is influenced by chance, encounters, ideas, and events.
As a photographer, I believe that my role is not to create order where there is none in life. That is why this book is marked by scenes of encounters and impressions of people and life in general. If you compare the book with a literary form, it would be a book of poetry; each photo, like each poem, stands on its own, generates feelings, conveys impressions, and triggers thoughts.
Likewise, there are also influences of the big city films in my pictures.
I have been working in the film industry for many years and feel affected by films, whether they are from Woody Allen’s New York homages or Wong Kar-Wai’s Hong Kong melodramas.
Sometimes, I think of the still photos hanging in front of cinemas, which are intended to denote the film’s story and convey its mood.
Above all, this book highlights my love of big city life and the people I meet, but often only observe, and whom I sometimes photograph.
In addition, at times, the outcome captivates me, draws me towards it, and concerns me. The effect strikes my fancy and causes me to think about the life of the people I have photographed.
Some of these photos are marked by the hectic restlessness of the metropolis, while others capture the silence and thoughtfulness of city life.
Almost all of them express a singular mood: the big city fever.
Urban Fever was created between 2009 and 2016 in big cities like New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Saigon, Paris, London and Berlin.
Urban Fever is a photobook, below the details.
URBAN FEVER – Scenes from city life
Photographs Jürgen Bürgin
112 pages, hardcover
End of September 2016
all images and text © Jürgen Bürgin