Culture & Communication
Scene from an Urban Stage
Foreword by Ed Kashi and Essay by Marlaine Glicksman
Daylight Books, May 2016
During the past eight years, Stan Raucher has spent countless hours riding and photographing on metro systems around the world. His candid photos capture ordinary people, from elderly couples and mothers with children to young lovers, friends and workers, going about their daily lives as they pass through the crush of this subterranean realm traveling to and from work and other destinations. Metro provides an intimate glimpse into the variety of human emotions and interactions that occur on this most democratic of urban stages. These evocative, richly layered duotone images reminiscent of still photos from a movie or play are gathered together in Raucher’s new monograph Metro (Daylight Books, May 2016).
Raucher took the photographs in Metro between 2007 and 2014 during numerous trips he made to fifteen cities on four continents. With the relentless dedication required to complete such an ambitious project, he captures the metro systems of New York City, Mexico City, San Francisco, Paris, Budapest, Naples, London, Warsaw, Rome, Prague, Vienna, São Paulo, Lima, Delhi, and Shanghai. Each scene in Metro invites the viewer to contemplate the situation and generate a personal narrative that reflects the universal thread that connects all humanity, as well as characteristics that are unique to each culture and location.
On making Metro, Raucher comments: « … As individuals interact with one another in these tightly packed public spaces, occasionally extraordinary situations that are unexpected, mysterious, humorous or poignant unfold. A strange or wonderful juxtaposition, a spontaneous gesture, a concealed mood or a hidden emotion may materialize and then vanish in a split-second … »
In her essay in the book, filmmaker, writer and photographer Marlaine Glicksman writes: « Raucher’s focus is not the dramatic actions that usually capture our consciousness and newspaper headlines. He’s not a subway Weegee. He’s drawn towards moments internal and intimate, quiet and quotidian, interactions startling only in how universally commonplace-how human-they are, in how the very publicness of riding a subway can give way to moments of intimacy at all. »
Raucher grew up viewing black-and-white movies and television, Life magazine photo documentries and The Family of Man, and he chose to embrace this aesthetic in his own work. Ed Kashi writes: « The richness and depth of his black and-white photography add an important element to this work. It enhances the emotional content and forces the viewer to dwell that much longer to absorb the textures of the scenes he has so adeptly captured. »
When photographing his subjects up close on the metro, Raucher tries to be as discreet and unobtrusive as possible, but discovers that in many instances people are in their own private worlds and don’t even notice him. At a time when fewer of the images that we see on a routine basis are honest representations of real life, these photos open a window to the world that surrounds us here and now.
Stan Raucher is an award-winning photographer who has been documenting aspects of the human condition around the world for over a decade. His photographs have been featured in 20 solo exhibitions and included in over 60 juried group shows. His work has been published in Slate, LensWork, Black & White Magazine, The Daily Mail, The Independent, Lenscratch, F-Stop Magazine, Shots and The Havana Times. He was a 2012, 2013 and 2015 Critical Mass finalist, a 2012 CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography finalist, a 2015 PX3 Bronze Award winner, and he received a 2015 Artists Trust GAP Award. His prints are held by museums, institutions, and private collectors. Visit the artist’s website here.
Ed Kashi is an award-winning photojournalist, filmmaker, educator, and member of VII Photo Agency. He has authored numerous books detailing the social and political issues that define our times, and he is known for his complex imagery and its compelling rendering of the human condition.
Marlaine Glicksman is a visual storyteller: an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, photographer, and writer who creates dramatic character-driven stories set in multicultural contexts both narrative and documentary and in moving images and stills.
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:
Daylight is a non-profit organization dedicated to publishing art and photography books. By exploring the documentary mode along with the more conceptual concerns of fine art, Daylight’s uniquely collectible publications work to revitalize the relationship between art, photography, and the world-at-large. For more information, visit daylight books.org.
Hardcover, 17.7 x 25.4 cm
112 Pages. 60 color