He went on tour with Nirvana for Nevermind, he helped a young Kate Moss jump start her career and he revolutionised fashion with his raw, irreverent photography. Juergen Teller's work and career is like no other. There's hardly a name worth knowing in the fashion and music industries who hasn't been in front of the 53-year-old photographer's lens. His pictures exude a unique sense of lightness. Whenever you hear or read stories about Juergen you can't help but notice one consistent part of the narrative — just how much he actually enjoys life. So, the title of his latest exhibition, Enjoy Your Life, at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, which opened just last week, makes a whole lot of sense. i-D Germany caught with the curator Susanne Klein to talk about the phenomena that is Juergen Teller.
Anne & Elisa No.1, Man About Town, Magazine Cover Spring/Summer 2016 © Juergen Teller
Why do you think Juergen Teller is still, after decades of being in the business, one of the most influential photographers?
His different point of view, the directness, spontaneity, sometimes the rawness and openness of his always well-balanced pictures. His attitude, joy and curiosity always lead to new compositions and collages.
How did you choose the exhibited works?
In collaboration with Juergen, we focused on his latest works, because he uses his older photographs in those anyway. And we wanted to show the Plate/Teller series, which he created for the exhibition in Bonn. It was important to us to show the Juergen Teller who does amazing work besides his famous campaigns. Berlin is the third city of this exhibition after being shown in Bonn and Prague. For each city, we added and changed the exhibition, so each stop was different, partly due to the different architecture. Being able to show his works in Germany again was an important emotional step for him.
Kanye, Juergen & Kim, No.70, Chateau d'Ambleville 2015 © Juergen Teller
Working on this exhibition, did you notice something about Juergen that you hadn't before?
Maybe his deeply felt connection to his home country and family. Although these motifs have always been present in his works.
Do you remember the first meeting with him — what did you think of him?
That he is extremely friendly and he's got a cool style.
What can we expect from this exhibition?
Unexpected compositions, narratives, winks, emotions, depth, poetry -- basically the joy of living.
Frogs and Plates No.12, 2016 © Juergen Teller
Charlotte Rampling, a Fox, and a Plate No.15, Latimer Road, London 2016 © Juergen Teller
Text Juule Kay
Main photo Self portrait, London 2015 © Juergen Teller