juergen teller wants you to enjoy your life
As a new exhibition in Berlin explores the private life of the German photographer, i-D Germany caught up with the curator to talk about the reasons behind his success.
Self Portrait, London 2015 © Juergen Teller
He went on tour with Nirvana for Nevermind, helped a young Kate Moss jump start her career, and he revolutionized 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 lot of sense. i-D Germany talked with the curator of the exhibit, Susanne Klein, to talk about the phenomenon that is 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 this exhibition is being shown after being 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.
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.
Text Juule Kay
Main photo Self portrait, London 2015 © Juergen Teller