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Jan K. Tyrel

Jan K. Tyrel

SPREE_NOIR

The city of Berlin looks back on a difficult history. For 28 years the city was divided. The river Spree was often the border line in the inner city. The series SPREE_NOIR reflects the city of Berlin in the style of the cold war. All photographs were taken in the rare Berlin foggy nights

Awards

World Photo Annual

2023

Honorable Mention

Architecture

Professional

SPREE_NOIR

The city of Berlin looks back on a difficult history. For 28 years the city was divided. The river Spree was often the border line in the inner city. The series SPREE_NOIR reflects the city of Berlin in the style of the cold war. All photographs were taken in the rare Berlin foggy nights

About Artist

Jan K. Tyrel

Jan K. Tyrel grew up behind the Iron Curtain in East Berlin. In the mid-eighties, as a teenager, he held in his hands an illustrated book by Dresden-born photographer and graphic artist Edmund Kesting. Jan was deeply fascinated by Kesting's mystical night light compositions of old Dresden. Jan tried his first night shots in black and white in the eastern city and discovered his great love for long exposures. Shortly after his 18th birthday he moved into his first apartment in Berlin Friedrichshain. Quickly his place of residence became a young and wild photo community. His bathtub was never usable during that time. Around the clock, new photo prints floated in the water. After the fall of the wall, he put the camera away for a few years. The western color world had suffocated him photographically. Rather by chance, he took on a photo assignment in the event sector in the mid-nineties. In the following years, he photographed numerous cultural events in Berlin and documentaries in the construction industry. At this time the first of his longtime exposures appeared in Berlin magazines and real estate exposes. After the turn of the millennium, he focused on the Berlin Spree bridges during foggy nights. Dense fog is very rare in Berlin – maybe two or three nights a year – and then a few hours before dawn only. Since 2012, he has been working specifically on his series entitled "SPREE_NOIR". Each year he adds some new fog shots to this project. The nighttime fog narrows our view and forces us to refocus again and again. The background becomes blurred or even completely faded out. Foreground elements unfold in the night light, which begin to tell us about themselves and their story. So “SPREE_NOIR" is also an exploration of the difficult history of the city of Berlin. Numerous bridges were inner-city border bridges and still bear traces of the German division. Other bridges still tell something of the last days of the war. Yet, his work is not absolute nostalgic. His look also encompasses modern forms and its illumination. Maybe because yesterday's night is also already history… Jan will continue the photo series in the upcoming years. In the meantime, there is a list of places along the Spree River that he is working through. Since 2021, he has been photographing at night on analog film stock again. For the next years, his night shots will be exposed on old AGFA Isopan films (mostly expired in the sixties or seventies). Jan wants to carry the film material back to its time. +++ Note: There is no profile picture of me. I'm a shadow in a city of millions at night. Invisible on the spree riverbank at night. A man in a black coat with a camera. A ghost in the fog. Somewhere in the darkness – somewhere in Berlin. "If you're involved in photography, at some point you have to decide if you want to be seen in front of the camera or behind it."

Jan K. Tyrel

Photographic Areas of Focus

Architecture, Film/Analog, Fine Art, Landscapes, Photojournalism, Portrait, Street

Location

Germany

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