Big City Life

A photography exhibition about the challenges of Megacities

August 07th, 2019
Gloria Algarotti, News from Berlin
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Berlin, the only German metropolis, is hosting for two months from June 6th until August 14th 2019 a photography exhibition about life in big cities. Overpopulation, mass consumption, voyeurism and the overwhelming lifestyle of big cities are the main topic of the exposition.

“Life in Cities” is the name of the work of the German photographer and artist Michael Wolf. An exposition of over 200 pictures, taken throughout the whole life of the artist, can be visited free of charge every day from 12:00 to 20:00 at the Urania Berlin as part of the one-year long project “Vision findet Stadt”. It has been made possible thanks to fundings from the LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin.

Skyscrapers, portraits of lonely faces in the middle of overcrowded streets and subways, chaos, squalor and a lack of happiness and emotions emerge from the photos of Michael Wolf. Their grey and sad vibes perfectly portray the mood and atmosphere which every Berliner has to face in their everyday-life.

Pictures were taken in big cities and metropoles all around the world, such as Paris and Hong Kong, where the artist used to live. But this fact is secondary, almost irrelevant. By looking at the exposed daily scenes it is impossible to tell where these photos were shoot. In the post-modern, globalized reality of a more and more virtually interconnected world, geographical distances are continuously being reduced. Internet and social medias connect people, standardise lifestyles, traditions and cultures and bring them together in big cities. Berlin is just a perfect example.

Big cities are welcoming people from all over the world. In the new environment newcomers make up their new lives by finding a compromise between their origins, their cultural baggage and what the new city has to offer. Sometimes this might even mean giving up the own roots and so on contributing to the phenomenon of the gentrification. Otherwise different cultures in the same urban area can also make it more vary, vibrant and diverse.

Indeed, the exposition points out the following question: how can people from different backgrounds and with different habits share their living and eventually homogenise with each other? Is this even possible or legitimate?

The photography exhibition has gained particular meaning after the sudden startling death of the artist on April 25th in Hong Kong, marking as well the end of his lifework. This is, at the same time, representative of the life and personality of an international artist.


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