The City is a Choreography

by Melissa Schriek

I see the city as a place of constant movement. A rhythm we become part of once we step onto the concrete streets. The city is composed of strangers and familiar objects: the ubiquitous sidewalk, a slightly bent street pole, a bright orange traffic cone, or a broken-down bicycle left to rust. They all seem trivial and significant at the same time.
‘The City is a Choreography’ was photographed between 2017 and 2020 in various cities around the world. An exploration that started with the urge to step out of my everyday life in the city. I felt the need to experience the urban environment, with both eyes and body, instead of merely perceiving it. I wanted to figure out how to connect meaningfully with our daily environment and the strangers we pass by. It was the boredom of walking the same route every day, seeing the same objects and the anonymous faces in the crowd, that made me start to see the city as a choreography.
When the bright sunlight hits the street, it sets the stage. Have you ever noticed that? The harsh shadows of the lantern are perfectly shaped to follow the lines of your body. The curved sidewalk fits your spine. The stranger and you become one while laying over a street pole. Can we transform the way we interact with the ordinary? Can we uncover a feeling of significance? Maybe we are not just observers—not passive city dwellers, but participants of a street scene.