Jerry Berndt . Insight
Dimly lit barrooms, red-light districts, and dark streets like photographic negatives of daytime life: they are places that offer stillness, protection, and discretion, that induce isolation and at the same time evoke an atmosphere charged with aggression, humiliation, and fear. These tightly circumscribed spaces intensify the social interactions that take place within them, creating the psychological state of emergency, the specific dark atmosphere that Jerry Berndt has been capturing in sensitive, powerful photographic series since the 1960s. His photographs present forbidding images of loneliness, intoxication, and blurred life paths on the margins of society. Through their reduction to the essential, his previously unpublished photographs reveal deeper psychological and social structures.