City Stills

Ray K. Metzker,City Stills

Ray K. Metzker
City Stills

Photographs: Ray K. Metzker

Text: Laurence G. Miller

Publisher: Prestel

96 pages

Pictures: 78

Year: 1999

Comments: Hardcover. Black & white photographs. 305 x 245 mm. First edition, 1999. Text in english. Scarce in good condition. A few wears.

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Ray K. Metzker's stunning streetscapes are captured in this celebration of the photographer's work. These black-and-white photographs, taken over a quarter century and presented here by visual themes show Metzker pushing the technical boundaries of photography into an undefined formal realm well beyond the expected. Admirers have called Metzker "an innovator who knows no rules". City Stills confirms this, with Metzker using progressive darkroom techniques and daring collage compositions to suspend concepts of time and place, and transform his subjects into visual patterns : a crowd of wary policemen becomes a study in texture and contrast - shiny, black leather uniform jackets against smooth, white helmets. 

Other photographs demonstrate Metzker's magnificent command of light and shade : four figures wait pensively at a bus stop, as though caged in glass, staring boldly into a wedge of bright light ; a lone woman stands outside a train station, engulfed in a ominous stripe of inky shadow, with only the white of her necklace and a folded newspaper as talismans to ward off the darkness. Whether the photographs capture people waiting to take action, or people already in motion, Metzker's technique estranges them from the lockstep rhytm of mundace activity, and makes them stand still - just for a moment. The result is a series of photographs that demands a reinterpretation of the city and its inhabitants.


Ray K. Metzker,City Stills

Ray K. Metzker,City Stills

Ray K. Metzker,City Stills

Ray K. Metzker,City Stills

Ray K. Metzker,City Stills

Ray K. Metzker,City Stills

Ray K. Metzker,City Stills

Ray K. Metzker,City Stills

Ray K. Metzker,City Stills

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Ray K. Metzker,City Stills