Martin Roemers (b. 1962) is a Dutch artist and photographer. He studied at the AKI Academy of Visual Arts in Enschede, the Netherlands. For many years, he has worked on long-term projects that result in exhibitions and books such as Relics of the Cold War, Kabul and The Eyes of War. His latest project is Metropolis, an exploration of the world’s megacities. Roemers’ work has been exhibited throughout Europe, America, Asia and Australia. His work is also represented in prominent public, corporate and private collections, among them the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Ford Foundation in New York and The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.He has published eight monographs and received two World Press Photo Awards along with a number of other prizes. Interviews and reviews about Roemers’ work have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and many other publications.
February 1 – April 26, 2017
Today, more than half of humanity lives in a city. The United Nations has predicted that by 2050, two thirds of the world’s population is expected to be living in urban environments. Across the developing world, cities gain an average of five million residents every month.
Martin Roemers’ began Metropolis in 2007 to document the process of global urbanization by focusing on cities with populations of more than ten million people. Taking us from Dhaka to São Paolo, Beijing, Cairo, Mexico City and Mumbai, among numerous others, Roemers’ long exposure prints capture the force, drama and human face of rapidly changing megacities. Metropolis introduces audiences to new cities and modes of urban life, while simultaneously showing us the similarities that exist between individuals worldwide.
Roemers contextualizes the human experience in contemporary cities by photographing public spaces from a raised vantage point, showcasing the dizzying scale of urban population growth. Shot on medium format film, each frame is exposed for up to four seconds, creating a visual metaphor—the megacity’s vitality courses through the blurred movement of the masses while time stands still for a few lone individuals. For all their chaos, big cities still have a sense of humanity. It is this humanity and sense of interconnectedness that Roemers’ photographs reveal—the dynamic character of each city as it ages and modernizes as well as the urban dwellers who make it their home.
February 29 – April 8, 2012
The inspiration for Metropolis is the present world population of seven billion. According to the UN’s Population Fund, half this population now lives in cities. Martin Roemers’ ongoing long-term project captures the force, drama and human face of rapidly changing megacities.
RELICS OF THE COLD WAR
July 16 – September 10, 2014
For forty years the Iron Curtain divided the countries of Europe into East and West. The arms race was unleashed, nuclear fallout shelters were constructed, and everyone braced for the worst. Photographer Martin Roemers spent ten years searching for traces of this period in countries on both sides of the conflict. He explored and documented underground tunnels, abandoned system control centers, former barracks, rotting tanks, and destroyed monuments. His photographs are a stark and moving document of this era of hostility, deterrence politics, and the arms race. They also serve as an appeal for future peace.