Between September 18, 2020 and January 24, 2021, the Stifung Reinbeckhallen Sammlung für Gegenwartskunst will present »Berlin, 1945–2000: A Photographic Subject« at the Reinbeckhallen. It is also part of the EMOP Berlin – European Month of Photography in October 2020.
Update: With the renewed lockdown, the exhibition will remain closed until approximately 10 January 2021. The organisers are currently trying to extend the exhibition by a few months in spring 2021. Information on this will be available as soon as new infection control regulations have been officially established.
Curated by Candice M. Hamelin, the exhibition examines how German and international photographers captured Berlin—East, West, and unified—between the immediate postwar years and the end of the twentieth century. It includes photographs and photographic series by 23 photographers who took Berlin as their subject and, on occasion, the inspiration for their work. Belonging to the genres of documentary, street, architectural, conceptual, portrait, and experimental photography, their photographs—taken for magazines, photobooks, thesis projects, artistic ends, and private use—draw attention to the various photographic practices that flourished in Berlin as well as to the immense social, political, and cultural changes that the city underwent over the course of 55 years.
Featuring over 200 hundred works, some of which have never been exhibited before, the show highlights different voices and artistic interests and presents multiple ways of seeing, being in, and photographing Berlin between 1945 and 2000. Due to their common subject, a city that was devasted in the final years of the Second World War and subsequently divided, they depict the damage done to Berlin during the war, the collective efforts of the Trümmerfrauen (Rubble Women) in the immediate postwar years, and the building and subsequent fall of the Berlin Wall. In addition to capturing these and other historical moments and events, they document and provide insight into everyday life in the second half of the 1940s and 1950s; the building boom in the Eastern and Western parts of the city in the 1960s and 1970s; subcultures that began to be seen and photographed on both sides of the political divide in the late 1970s and 1980s; ways of life that either vanished or emerged following the fall of the Berlin Wall; and the large development projects that slowly replaced some of the city’s ruins and voids afer German reunification.
Finally, the photographs included in the exhibition raise critical questions about perception and the photographic process by offering varied perspectives of a city that not only rebuilt itself twice during the period under examination, but that also, despite—or perhaps because of—the changes it endured, remains one of Europe’s cultural centers.
»Berlin, 1945–2000: A Photographic Subject« includes photographs and photographic series by Wilfried Bauer, Sibylle Bergemann, Kurt Buchwald, Arno Fischer, Nan Goldin, Herbert Hensky, Max Jacoby, Karl-Ludwig Lange, Will McBride, Rudi Meisel, Roger Melis, Evelyn Richter, Andreas Rost, Michael Schmidt, Maria Sewcz, Michael Wesely, Anno Wilms, Lothar Winkler, Werner Zellien, Harf Zimmermann, and Miron Zownir. It also features a 26-minute film by Gundula Schulze-Eldowy and a leporello containing 108 photographs by Ulrich Wüst
Candice M. Hamelin received her MA in Fine Arts from the University of Toronto and her PhD in History of Art from the University of Michigan. Afer defending her dissertation, Behind Immaterial and Material Divides: East German Photography, 1949-1989, she accepted The Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Getty Research Institute Fellowship, residing first in Berlin and then in Los Angeles. She has published extensively on East German art photography and has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities Fellowship and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She began her curatorial practice under the tutelage of Barbara Fischer at the University of Toronto and has curated shows in Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles. »Berlin, 1945–2000: A Photographic Subject« is her first show at the Reinbeckhallen.
Accompanying program Weekly tours will be offered on the occasion of the European Month of Photography Berlin during the month of October. Led by Candice M. Hamelin and given in English and German on alternating weeks, they will take place every Friday evening at 7 PM. More information and tickets (€ 15 including admission) can be found here. On October 22nd at 7 PM, the Stifung Reinbeckhallen will host a panel discussion titled »Berlin, 1945–2000: Gender as a Subject«. Artists, curators, and other specialists from the field of visual arts will discuss the topic of gender inequality in photography from the immediate post-war years to the present. This event is free and open to the public. Artist talks will take place in November and December. Dates and further information will be published shortly.
WHERE? Reinbeckhallen, Reinbeckstraße 17, 12459 Berlin-Oberschöneweide
WHEN? Thu–Fri 4–8 pm, Sat, Sun & holidays 11 am–8 pm
COSTS? 9 EUR | 4 EUR reduced, Free admission on Thursdays from 6 pm (except public holidays)
Precautionary measures concerning COVID-19
The organisers restrict admission to a maximum of 80 people and ask all visitors* to the Reinbeckhallen the following protective measures in accordance with the Infection Protection Ordinance of the State of Berlin:
– to wear a mouth-nose protective mask
– maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 m from other persons