London Calling

Images, London 2018/2019: Wulf Rössler / Micro-stories: Helene Haker and Wulf Rössler

With many thanks to Andreas Trogisch and Liz Kyrke

London Calling

London Calling by the English punk rock band The Clash is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock albums of all time. ‘London Calling’, the apocalyptic title track, was influenced by the March 1979 accident at a nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.
It also explores the issues of rising unemployment, racial conflict and drug use. According to music critic Tom Carson, ‘while the album draws on the entirety of rock and roll‘s past for its sound, the concepts and lyrical themes are drawn from the history, politics and myths associated with the genre’.
From: Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

Everyday Apocalypses

Henri Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment is one of the most influential books in the history of photography. The title refers to that unrepeatable, fleeting moment when an image is fixed.
In street photography we hunt out real life situations, with real people, the whole embedded in a scenic development that touches us emotionally in an undefinable way. To quote Cartier-Bresson: ‘pictures are taken with intuition – uncorrectable once “the decisive moment” has passed’.
But how do we translate a real-life situation into a good image? It may be a gesture, a human interaction, a revealed emotion which arrests our attention and stimulates our imagination. The moment is ‘decisive’ when all the elements in an image peak in a perfect picture. But the ‘perfect’ picture is not defined solely by its single constituents: geometrical pattern, light and shade and their interplay; above all it catches people in a very special moment when they reveal their inner worlds to us.
Most of what we observe in such scenes, however, reflects our own inner world, is our own projection. Everything in the captured image seems to come together within this tiny fraction of a second when the image is exposed in the camera. But compared to the shutter speed, these people’s lives stretch out in time long before and after the ‘decisive’ photographic moment.
This book sets out to extend that special moment. We describe the lives of the people in the photographs in micro-stories.
We try to extract the core meaning of that decisive moment – our core meaning. Naturally we are dealing in fiction, just as our interpretation of the photographic image itself is fictional.
Taking their cue from the apocalyptic world described in ‘London Calling’, these micro-stories evoke the everyday private apocalypses of the people photographed. It is here that we recognize ourselves, in our shared human condition.
‘London calling … I never felt so much alike, alike, alike, alike…‘

Wulf Rössler