Juergen Teller presents ‘Man with Banana’, his first institution exhibition at Dallas Contemporary in yee-ha Texas.
While Juergen Teller may be one of the most significant and essential photographers working today, he is also a storyteller and director of sorts, casting unexpected characters and shedding new light on the expected ones. The title of the exhibition, ‘Man with Banana’, refers to Teller’s portrait of model Andrej Pejic holding a banana, infer what you will. Featuring many new and unseen large-scale works from the last year as well as works created specifically for the exhibition, Teller weaves new tales, featuring family and friends alongside more abstract metaphors and ideas. i-D Online grabbed some rare time with the photographer ahead of the show opening on Friday to talk about how he feels photographing his family, the Pejic phenomena and how his football team are getting on.
When we spoke last, we talked about a self-portrait of you portraying your son as yourself, and you have shot members of your family in these works. Tell me about shooting and working with your family… I was happy because when you have children, you can ask to photograph them. When they are babies, you don’t need to ask and when they are three or five they stop pulling funny faces. When my daughter turned thirteen, she said, ‘Let’s do some work together’, and I was very pleased with it. She’s very aware of the world around her, she has an idea of what I’m doing and it was exciting that she took that initiative.
What are the ideas behind the works in ‘Man with Banana’? Well, there’s a lot of variation in the photos. A big bulk of the work is from a German newspaper called Die Zeit. I had a column in which I published photos and wrote about them. So in the show there are framed works with text underneath from the column. There were some quite funny stories.
Who was the most interesting or charismatic person you photographed for the show? There was a boy whose name is Andrej Pejic. I saw photographs of him in i-D and it struck me how beautiful he was. I thought, ‘what a beautiful creature and what a beautiful person’. In November, I shot him for the Marc by Marc Jacobs campaign and I did a fashion story with him in women’s clothes for Zeit magazine and it’s astonishing how he looks. Actually, I was working at the printer’s and my printer said, ‘Oh, I really fancy her’. He couldn’t believe it was a boy. He’s extraordinary. You just don’t meet people like that.
Lastly, I know you’re a big football fan. Who’s your team? It’s Munich. Right now, they’re third in the league, but they’re usually first. They’re struggling a bit!
‘Man with Banana’ runs until 21st August at Dallas Contemporary, 161 Glass Street Dallas, Texas.