IMAGE COURTESY OF BART KOETSIER
www.bartkoetsier.com / @bartkoetsier
From the series Taillights Fade – “Just like a moth is attracted to a candle, I’m attracted to neon and street lights. It enables me to record what is shocking and yet so captivating about urban life in Europe after sunset. In the past ten years, the artificial light and the night have become my habitat. When most of us go to sleep, I go out. The dim light gives my images of the night a frayed, poetic charm. This, in combination with the long exposure times, often results in poignant images, untouched by digital processes. I’m not concerned with the night’s aesthetics as such. Admittedly, the cities in his photographs are also very often gritty places full of shadows, where you might get the feeling that things are not going to end well – but to me, the night functions as a metaphor for the crises that plague a febrile Europe. The economic crisis, the refugee crisis, and a general identity crisis all show the skewness of European governments as to how to defuse polarization. Taillights Fade is a document of Europe in hard times, which at the same time shows the resilience, the confidence, and the hope of its inhabitants.”
Editor’s comment: A poignant and compelling capture of urban life in Europe after sunset. It serves the dual purpose of documenting night life while also bringing to life the human condition – beauty and transcendental, devil-may-care passion in the grit and ugliness of reality. Well done!