Long before my first visit to Berlin, I always had a certain picture of my head of how Berlin would look.
It came on to me as a dark, heavy but also open minded city. Much more then everyone always says about Amsterdam a city where people could be theirselves. I the Western part, but also in the Eastern part. The East in my mind was more of a rough place. Later, I came across a load of Berlin pictures made by Miron Zownir. I was amazed! Not only because they were só incredible to see. But even more because they perfectly reflected the chaos that I expected in my head. He visualized it perfectly.
Miron Zownir took up photography in the late 70s during the heyday of punk in West Berlin and London. From the beginning, he offered a tight portrayal of the movement and its peculiar attitude towards life: in limbo between a utopian vision of anarchy and nihilistic self-destruction. Since then, Zownir’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. Despite his success, Zownir has stayed firmly rooted to his outsider beginning.
Zownir’s work is always made in black-and-white. In black-and-white photography is more mysterious. It triggers the imagination, and keeps one from focusing on details that are just disturbing. It adds a certain weight on what you don’t see. In short, it is more poetic, but for sure still real enough to disturb and to make the audience question and reflect.
In his book Berlin Noir Zownir uses urban landscapes and portraits to document timeless big city melancholy and all of the facets of the wild life of Berlin. The publication presents a retrospective of Miron Zownir’s Berlin photography between 1978 and 2016. You can purchase the book at Bildband Berlin.