About the night photography of Juergen Pollak

Flickering city night life? Nocturnal environment studies? No. Nor is it a sentimentalised view of an apparent nocturnal idyll. In contemplating Juergen Pollak’s night shots we are faced with unspectacular views of a city which are a familiar sight. Perhaps overly familiar and yet so unfamiliar, so full of startling details, that we are prompted to keep taking another look. That which dominates New York by day and by night seems to be strangely faded out: the streets and traffic junctions appear deserted on these pictures, as if brought to a standstill with the camera. The squares and pedestrian zones, otherwise filled with nocturnal revelers of every hue, are plunged in a breathless hush as if someone had paused life itself. At the same time there is a disturbing quality about the sharp definition of these night-time views which even show things which would be invisible to the naked eye in the darkness: the green of the leaves on the trees which are portrayed so finely that they can be counted. Neon lights, road signs and signposts which generate an almost brash clarity and luminescent brightness, even in the distance and against a pitch-black night sky. These pictures break new ground in night photography.