zondag 5 oktober 2008

the Meaning of Being German Today U-NI-TY by Michael Schmidt Photography

Michael Schmidt, UNITY, 1991-1994© Michael Schmidt

When after the fall of the Berlin wall the German unification – more precisely: unity – was evoked more and more, Berlin photographer Michael Schmidt began a new series of pictures.
Between 1991 and 1994 he photographed architecture, landscapes, and interiors, made portraits, and photographs of objects. He also reproduced pictures from diverse newspapers, books, and other printed media - anything that seemed to be of importance. The earliest of these are from the era of the Nazi regime, the last ones from the beginning of the 1990s. UNITY is an examination of the German identity, of the inner and outer condition of us Germans at the end of the century, when Auschwitz and the resulting division of Germany were of central importance. His survey is disastrous. What we see is an ugly and dismal narrow-mindedness, which creates an atmosphere of dullness. Harsh contrasts, thoroughgoingness, and forcefulness are the characteristics of these black and white photographs.

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