3 September - 15 October 2011
In 2009 the Dutch photographer Reinier Gerritsen made his well-known series ‘Wall Street Stop’, documenting people in the New York subway during the height of the financial crisis. This resulted in a book with the same title, published in 2010 by Hatje Cantz on the occasion of his exhibition in the ‘Nederlands Fotomuseum’ (Dutch Museum of Photography) in Rotterdam.
“The guard is down and the mask is off, people's faces are in naked repose down in the subway." (Walker Evans, in his photobook Many are called - 1966 - about the subway passengers in New York). “And the best way to catch them in the act of being themselves, he decided, was to take pictures without their knowledge”.
Gerritsen feels the same as Walker Evans: without the social mask people show their real face.
At the beginning of 2011 Gerritsen went to Shanghai. He was especially intrigued by the amount of facemasks he saw in the subway, emphasizing the isolation of each individual in the packed subway and symbolizing the fear of environmental disaster.
His images also document ongoing globalization, showing the similarities between Shanghai and New York commuters - in appearance and use of gadgets.
For this series, Gerritsen employed the same technique that he has been using for many years now: creating his pictures by means of combining different, overlapping shots, all made within a second or two of each other. In this sense, he creates a construction of reality.
We are very happy to be able to show the first results of this work in progress.
This is an interesting video by Marcel Molle, that shows how Reinier creates his images. It was made for his exhibition of ‘Wall Street Stop’ at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, June - September 2010. In ‘Shanghai Flowers’ Reinier uses the same method.