© 2021

Calle 22 Bogota, Colombia 2015

Calle 22
from Studio Julius von Bismarck.

Calle 22 is Julius von Bismarck’s documentation of the street of the same name in Bogota, Colombia. With a high-speed camera and a spotlight he shoots over 2500 frames per second during a car ride at high speed along the southern side of Calle 22 at night, thus capturing the varied life on the road with a powerful light. As this leads from the prosperous parts of the city to the poor quarters, he presents the urban development in a very small space and reflects the political process of a city based on one road. Von Bismarck questions the outside gaze on the social strata of another country by capturing images in slow motion, that seem to show an almost frozen scenery.

Since the camera captures the street in one continuous tracking shot, there is no possibility for selection. Von Bismarck refers to Western photography in poorer countries, which lures to trigger a certain emotion or reaction of the viewer by selecting their motifs. The spotlight produces an aggressive interference in the private life of the local people as it is often the case with Western reports of other cultures. Through the fast drive of the pickup and the conical light of the spotlight, individual scenes are focused and the people of Bogota portrayed as if by accident, because until they have realized the moment of the shot, the camera is already ahead.