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The exotic country. Photo reports by Stefan Moses | 01.02.-12.05.2019

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From February 1st, 2019, the German Historical Museum will be showing the exhibition Das exotische Land with photo reportages by Stefan Moses.

Image above: Stefan Moses, women under drying hoods in the hairdressing salon, undated © Elsa Bechteler-Moses

From February 1st to May 12th, 2019, the German Historical Museum dedicates the exhibition “The Exotic Land”. With 250 photographs as well as magazines and books, the exhibition traces Moses’ journey from a busy photojournalist to one of the most important portrait photographers and chroniclers of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Stefan Moses (1928-2018) is one of the great photographers of the Federal Republic of Germany. His photographs of members of various professions – always taken outdoors in front of a grey cloth – made him one of the most sought-after portrait photographers in Germany in the early 1960s. Less well-known, on the other hand, is his early work: Fotoreportagen, for which Moses had been travelling through Germany, Europe and overseas since 1950, mostly on behalf of illustrated magazines published by Munich-based Kindler Verlag. In 1960 Moses moved to the leading German magazine “Stern”, which engaged the best photographers in Germany for its elaborate photo reports. Stefan Moses travelled to Israel, Great Britain and Chile for the magazine. Again and again, however, he reported with great sociological intuition and an unmistakable photographic signature from the “exotic” country of Germany – a country that wanted to reinvent itself after terror and war with reconstruction and economic miracle.

On the occasion of his first anniversary of death on February 3rd, 2019, the exhibition for the first time presents early and now largely unknown photo reportages and photographic essays from Moses’ estate as well as a selection from his famous portrait series “Germans” and “Emigrants” from the collection of the German Historical Museum. Political snapshots, social observations and humorous everyday impressions are condensed into a portrait of recent German and international contemporary history. What they have in common is Moses’ ironically distanced, but never denouncing view of people and social conditions, with Germany and the Germans remaining his life theme to the end. “For me, Germany is just as exotic as Afghanistan or Paraguay, uncharted territories everywhere,” Stefan Moses once justified his decades of photographic exploration.

Deutsches Historisches Museum
Unter den Linden 2
10117 Berlin

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